There’s more to selling a house in Washington State than simply putting a property on the market and closing the deal. Sellers have to think about every aspect of the sale including the cost of selling a house.
Most first-time sellers are surprised by the hidden expenses and fees that come with a successful home sale. For those who want to avoid this common pitfall, check out the following fees associated with selling a property:
BE PREPARED FOR: Real estate agent commission
You can work with a real estate agent and not have to pay for anything until the deal is done. That’s when the agent collects their commission.
The typical rate for commissions is 5% to 6% of the sale price. The total amount will then be split by the seller’s agent, the buyer’s agent, and their respective brokerages.
The commission rate can be higher or lower depending on the agreement between the seller and the agent. As a seller, you should agree on a commission rate with your real estate agent right at the beginning.
BE PREPARED FOR: Home inspection and repairs
Getting a home inspection isn’t just for buyers. A home inspection reveals issues, both major and minor, with the property. Sellers can use the results of the inspection to make repairs so that the condition of the property doesn’t undermine its asking price. It’s also helpful when sellers provide the disclosure agreement to the buyer. These inspections cost around $200 to $400. The bigger the property, the more expensive the service.
Remember, most repairs will eventually have to be done by the seller even if they don’t order a home inspection. Buyers usually factor in their home inspection results when it comes to negotiating the final deal.
BE PREPARED FOR: Professional photography
Professional photography is a vital part of any successful marketing strategy – whether it’s online or traditional. Property photos are the first thing potential buyers see when they start looking at houses for sale. Make a great first impression by hiring a professional real estate photographer.
The cost of photo shoots varies widely depending on the number of hours and the location. Some photographers may charge as low as $80 an hour while others can max out at $500. Sellers should look through a photographer’s portfolio to find one that best suits their needs.
BE PREPARED FOR: Staging costs
The best way to get a house ready for sale is through staging, which is arranging your interiors so that buyers can visualize themselves living there. Staging can be done in different ways. For those who want a low-key house showing, go with a simple deep clean. The service costs from $200 to $400, depending on the size and scope of the job.
If a seller truly wants to make their home stand out, hiring a professional stager is a smart move. Most professional stagers have a rate of around $150 to $600 for an initial consultation. Then, an additional $500 to $600 is added per room staged per month. The average cost of professional staging is estimated at $1,108 including furniture rental and decorations.
To save money, sellers should focus their staging efforts in important areas like the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. Professional staging might seem expensive at first but the value it adds to the property is worth it.
BE PREPARED FOR: Real Estate Excise Tax
A Real Estate Excise Tax or REET is a tax on the ownership transfer of a property. The price depends on how much a property is sold for. Washington State has a 1.28% REET rate of a property’s full selling price.
All cities in the state are also allowed to charge a 0.25% tax on real property sales. Sellers should check similar Washington home prices to get a better idea of how much they could be paying.
BE PREPARED FOR: Title insurance
In Washington State, it’s customary for sellers to pay for the buyer’s title insurance. This protects the buyer of any losses in case a property ownership dispute occurs. Some title insurance policies include upfront services like a title search.
Title insurance prices range from a few hundred dollars to $2,000. The overall fee depends on what policy, coverage, and upfront services the seller chooses.
Need more tips for selling a home in Washington State? Get in touch with Jean Groesbeck & Associates, the most trusted real estate team in the area. For years, they’ve provided only the best home selling experience for their clients. Their marketing practices are also one of the most advanced in the area.