What Does it Cost to Sell Your home?

by Porcupine Real Estate 04/20/2020

If you're thinking of selling your home, you may have considered selling it without a real estate agent. Why should you pay an agent for work when you can do it yourself? Well, while you could sell your home on your own, you may lose out on some of the profit by not fully understanding the process or what costs you will incur.

The Hard Cost Breakdown

Let's imagine you are selling a $300,000 home. A standard agent commission in New Hampshire is 5%, which translates to $15,000. That means in a best-case scenario, where you sell the home for the same price as the professional, you make an extra $15k. The question becomes, what extra expenses do you incur when going your own way?

1. Staging your home. In today's market, staging is no longer optional, but expected. Potential buyers have become savvy after watching home selling tv shows and they expect homes to look magazine-worthy, so sellers are competing with homes listed by agents who know how to make the most of the space and items within the home.

2. Professional photos. Even if you are a photographer, many real estate agents pay for professional real estate photos by photographers who specialize in MLS photos. When you shop for homes, do you scroll right past the ones that look like cell phone pictures? Studies show that potential buyers buy with their eyes first, which means your pictures need to tell your whole story in the best way possible. Professional photos often run $300-$500 or more.

3. Variable fees. You will also incur some variable fees for listing the property online and advertising costs, but since those will vary greatly from location to location, just keep some money aside for these and do your local research.

The Soft Costs Breakdown

Soft costs are those that do not really cost against your net savings but will reduce your overall income regardless.

1. Price. On average, homes sold by professional real estate agents sell for 8-12% more than direct sales. A little bit of math with percentages will show you that even the best-case scenario, you still take home over 7% more when using an agent than without, even forgetting about the hard costs. That number only increases as your home sale price goes up. Keep in mind that a real estate agent is committed to getting you top dollar since they make a percentage of sale price. 

2. Other perks. Before you try to sell your home without help, talk to a real estate agent and find out just how much you would be getting for that 5%. Some agents have other benefits (MARK - what other benefits?)