Average Costs to Sell a House: Let’s Break It Down

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Whether it’s your primary residence or your other real estate, selling a house is a time-consuming process that can also be financially draining — much more so than the typical house seller might expect. It’s important to anticipate the expenses associated with the sale if you plan to re-invest the proceeds.

Unfortunately, most expenses associated with house sales are actually necessary if you want to get a fair market price for your home. We’ve outlined these costs below to help you to keep track of your budget, plan ahead, and decide which of the optional expenses you want to cut down on. 

The Cost Breakdown

You’re likely to spend some money on home improvements before the sale, as those can significantly impact the fair market value. However, some of these expenses associated with preparations are optional, and some can actually take a significant portion out of your sales proceeds. Here’s a breakdown: 


Pre-inspecting your home isn’t a rule or a stipulation, and it’s an unnecessary step that can set you back some $300 to $500. However, it’s a worthwhile investment, since the home inspector can point to any areas of your home that would benefit from minor or major repairs.

This includes certain problems which you might’ve overlooked but are worth addressing. A pre-inspection can also let you know your home’s fair market value.

Home Repairs and Improvements

After the pre-inspection, you can start addressing all the minor or major problems identified during the pre-inspection. This also isn’t really necessary, and you can sell your home as a fixer-upper, but for a reduced cost.

On the other hand, home repairs and improvements significantly impact the fair market value. Kitchen and bathroom updates basically pay for themselves by increasing the value of your home. The price also depends on the extent of repairs and improvement. 

Professional Cleaning

Cleaning is another optional step that typically costs anywhere from $200 to $400, though the actual numbers depend on the size of your home. However, this is something you can tackle yourself if you have the time and the skill to do it adequately. This is entirely optional, but highly recommended for busy sellers. 


Landscaping is essential, but it also has some optional steps as well. Mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, and decluttering your backyard is necessary, and sellers typically spend approximately $150 on landscaping. 

Marketing Costs

Listing your homes on local MLS costs approximately $120 yo $200, but your real estate agent usually covers those expenses. However, if you’re FSBO (for sale by owner), you might want to opt for professional photography.

Most buyers say that viewing professional photos of a home is important. The real estate agent usually covers marketing costs, including professional photography, so it’s always a good decision to hire one. 

Home Staging

Home staging helps the buyers get that “love at first sight” feeling, which can help significantly speed up the sale. However, it costs around $2,000 to rent furniture for home staging. If you’re staging using your own furniture, the stager will declutter and rearrange your space for an approximate fee of $800. 

Real Estate Commissions

Hiring a real estate agent will cost you between 5% to 6% of the house’s sale price, but it’s highly advised because most homeowners are unprepared to handle the negotiation, home assessment, and paperwork.

There are various advantages to employing a real estate agent, including the ability to sell your property faster, negotiate on your behalf, obtain a fair price, and provide advice on whether your home is market-ready or requires repairs.

Capital Gains Tax

This tax is a tax on profit from the sale of a non-inventory asset, including real estate and property. Luckily, in most cases, the capital gains tax won’t apply; however, it’s always a good idea to make sure. If you’ve lived in your home for a very short time, or you’re selling your rental property or vacation home, or any real estate valued over $250,000, you might be liable for capital gains tax. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to sell your home hassle-free, as is, or for cash, you can contact Oak Street Properties, LLC — a cash home buyers in Arizona that don’t require you to spend a penny on home repairs and upgrades.

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