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10 Hidden Costs of Selling Your Home

May 13, 2024

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Discover the often-overlooked expenses of selling your home. With our comprehensive guide from Bungalow Finder

Selling your home can be profitable, but you should be aware of the possible hidden costs that arise. Fees like realtor commissions, repairs, and staging costs before the house goes on the market, among other expenses, can quickly add up. Our complete guide goes over ten costs that people often forget about when they are selling their homes.

Exposing 10 Secret Expenses of Selling Your Home 

People often think selling their homes is an excellent way to make money because they will get their money back. 

Many homeowners are surprised by the unstated costs of selling their house despite their excitement to begin a new chapter. 

Knowing these costs in advance can help you better arrange your finances and ensure a more seamless selling procedure.

1. Agent Commissions

The commission paid to the real estate agent is one of the most significant expenses of selling a home. Usually, real estate managers get paid between 5% and 6% of the final transaction price. 

Although the market and the particulars of the transaction may affect these costs, sellers should be prepared to part with a sizable portion of their earnings for agency commissions.

2. Pre-Sale Repairs 

Make necessary maintenance or repairs before listing your homes for sale. Replacing broken taps and roof leaks may soon mount up. 

Making necessary repairs upfront not only increases the appeal of your house to potential purchasers but also spares you from having to bargain for price reductions.

3. Staging Expenses in Real Estate

Staging is setting up and arranging items in your house so that potential purchasers may envision their potential. Setting can cost money, but it may make your home appear far more attractive and expedite the selling process.

The money you invest in a professional stager, furniture, and décor rental may be well spent if the house sells quickly and draws in more offers, 

4. Home Inspection Fees

Many sellers decide to have a pre-listing home inspection performed to uncover any issues before marketing their home. This proactive strategy carries inspection costs, but it can help prevent the buyer's examination from coming as a surprise. 

The expenses depend on the size and complexity of your land, which range from $300 to $500.

5. Closing Costs in Real Estate

Closing costs include all the fees and expenses associated with selling your home. Some of these are escrow fees, legal fees, transfer taxes, and title insurance. 

While buyers bear most closing costs, sellers frequently cover expenses such as HOA fees and discounted property taxes.

Closing Cost Item

Typical Cost Range

Title Insurance

$500 - $2,000

Attorney Fees

$500 - $1,500 (varies)

Transfer Taxes

It varies by location

Escrow Fees

$300 - $800

Prorated Property Taxes

Varies based on tax rate and closing date

Homeowners Association (HOA) Fees

Varies based on association and terms

This table provides a breakdown of expected closing costs incurred by sellers, along with typical cost ranges for each item.

6. Marketing Expenses

To get the best offer on your home, you need to sell it well to attract potential buyers. Print ads, web listings, virtual tours, and expert pictures can quickly increase marketing expenses. 

While some real estate brokers include marketing in their pricing, others could charge extra for more sophisticated marketing strategies.

The table below breaks down the different marketing strategies often used to sell homes, and the average cost ranges for each one.

Marketing Strategy

Typical Cost Range

Professional Photography

$100 - $500

Virtual Tours

$150 - $500

Online Listings

Included in the agent's commission or $50 - $200

Print Advertising

$100 - $500 (varies based on publication and ad size)

Open House Expenses

$100 - $500 (including refreshments and signage)

Social Media Promotion

$50 - $200 (boosted posts or targeted ads)

Direct Mail Campaigns

$200 - $500 (printing and postage costs)

7. Transfer Taxes

State or municipal governments impose transfer taxes on property sales between individuals. The sale price of the property typically determines these taxes, which can range from a fraction of a percent to several percentage points. 

Though transfer tax rates vary throughout the country, buyers should consider this potential expense when calculating their profit from the sale.

8. Legal Fees of Homes for Sale

Helping clients through the legal aspects of selling a house frequently requires the services of a real estate broker. Should they have to review documents, haggle over conditions, or handle any legal issues arising during the purchase, legal costs can mount up quickly. 

Getting an experienced attorney can give you peace of mind and ensure that the closing goes more smoothly, even if some sellers may attempt to handle legal matters independently to save money.

9. Moving Costs

Following the completion of the sale, you will need to vacate your present residence. Costs can vary based on the distance, number of items, and extra services required, whether you hire professional movers or rent a moving truck. 

Buyers may also need to plan for temporary storage or housing if there is a time between selling their current home and moving into a new one.

10. Capital Gains Tax to Sell Your Home

People who sell their homes may have to pay capital gains tax on any money they make from the sale. 

The capital gains tax is based on the difference between the price the property sold for and the cost to buy it, less any qualified costs such as home improvements or closing costs. 

Even though there may be some exceptions and deductions, sellers should talk to a tax professional to determine their tax obligations and possible liabilities after selling their house. Not taking into account capital gains tax can significantly affect the amount of money they get from the sale. 

So, including this cost in your budget for the total cost of selling your home is essential.


You may make a lot of money selling your home, but you need to know the hidden costs that can hurt your bottom line. These extra fees, like dealer commissions, pre-sale repairs, closing costs, and moving expenses, can add up very quickly. 

If you know about and plan for these secret costs ahead of time, you can get the most money from the sale of your home and make the selling process go more smoothly.


What not to fix when selling a house?

Make only a few improvements; instead of making small changes that look better, fix big problems like structure damage or old systems.

What to fix before selling a house?

Prioritize repairs that offer a high return on investment (ROI), such as fixing leaks, updating fixtures, and refreshing paint to enhance curb appeal.

What are the three most common methods of selling property?

The most common methods include listing with a real estate agent, selling privately, and auctioning the property.

What is the best method of selling?

The best method depends on the market, the time frame, and the desired involvement. Putting your home on the market with a reputable real estate agent can attract more attention and help.

What is the most cost-effective method for selling a home?

Selling privately (FSBO) can be cost-effective for those seeking to minimize expenses, though marketing and negotiations require time and effort.

Do you need to stage a house to sell it?

While staging isn't mandatory, it can significantly enhance a property's visual appeal and perceived value, often resulting in quicker sales and higher offers.

How can the value of the home be increased?

Boost your home's value by focusing on critical areas like upgrading kitchens and bathrooms, enhancing curb appeal with landscaping, and making energy-efficient improvements such as installing new windows or insulation.