Don’t rush into signing when selling your Los Angeles home with an agent until you run some numbers and learn about all of your options. Educate yourself on all scenarios before you sign a listing agreement that binds you to an agent! There are many costs of listing with an agent, sometimes a direct sell is a more lucrative choice.
Here are a few of the costs you might encounter when listing with an agent:
➜ Commissions – 6%+ of the final sale price
These fees are usually paid in full by the seller. The percentage might vary but is mostly around 6%. Agent’s commission will often have administrative, agent, and notary fees.
➜ Inspections – a few hundred dollars at least
Most buyers will pay for the inspection as part of the closing costs, as a negotiation tactic, more sellers are picking up the cost themselves. Repairs that must be made are negotiated between the buyer and the seller after the inspection is done,
➜ Appraisals – A few hundred dollars
This will usually be the responsibility of the buyer. If the buyer is working with a lender, the lender will require the house to be appraised before the deal is finalized. However, the appraisal cost can be negotiated, and ultimately be paid by the seller.
If any appraisal is done on your property, make sure you keep a copy for your records as in some cases, sellers will have appraisals done on their own as a negotiation tactic for a sale.
➜ Cleaning – $0 to a few hundred
Your house must be indeed clean when selling it, it needs to be spotless. Must have a deep cleaning done or clean it yourself from top to bottom. Open houses, surprise showings, and people stopping by to see the home will require the house to be entirely clean 24/7. If your schedule is already pretty busy, you may require some outside help to have it unblemished. Pricing will vary depending on the size of your home and the level of cleaning to be done. Cleaning will be as expected at $100 or more.
➜ Staging – $0 to a few hundred
It is pleasant to see as your home is already decorated with new toiletries, candles, bright colored throw pillows, and selectively placed houseplants. For the rest of us, giving your home that “straight out of a catalog” charm will take a little work. This doesn’t cost a ton, there are some great ways to DIY or find deals at a big box store. If interior decorating isn’t your speed, have a friend help, or consult Pinterest. No matter what you do, make sure you keep your space tidy and pulled together. A few small pieces will bring a room together and make it really feel like a home.
➜ Repairs – Varies
As mentioned, repairs will need to be negotiated by the buyer and the seller. As a seller, if there are repairs, it is best to accept them and let potential buyers know that costs have been calculated into your asking price. If new repairs come to light after an inspection, these will need to be taken care of and terms agreed to before the sale becomes final.
➜ Bills While The Home Is On The Market – Varies (Can be hundreds or even thousands!)
You will still need to keep the utilities on even if you have moved out of your home while you have it on the market. There is no way of knowing how long it will take for your home on listing to sell, it could be months! In addition, the property taxes and homeowners insurance will be your responsibility until the day of closing. Bills can add up to a small fortune if your home sits on the market for the longest time, (as many do)