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Selling a house in the year 2020 is not an easy task, especially if you’re a greenhorn when it comes to real estate matters. It isn’t enough that you need to have saved at least 20% equity to put down as a down payment on your new home before selling your current one.
You don’t want to be caught unawares by the amount of time and money you will need to shell out just to sell your home. So if you’re looking at selling your home, use this seller’s guide to how much to spend preparing a house for sale to help you prepare for those costs.
How Much Will it Cost?
A recent study showed that home sellers could end up spending as much as $21,000 in the process of selling a house. A large chunk of this, approximately $14,281, will go in closing costs. Closing costs will include real estate agent commissions, state transfer taxes, sales taxes, etc. The good thing is that this will come out of your final sale price, and not out of your pocket. The remainder, though, will be out of pocket expenses for you to bear.
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What Are These Costs?
Let’s break down what your out of pocket expenses are, and if you can save money on any of them.
1. House Cleaning
Your prospective buyers will not be impressed with an untidy house. You will want every corner of your home, including countertops, sinks, and bathrooms to be spotless before you list your home or entertain showings.
Hiring a professional cleaning service to thoroughly clean your house will cost you only around $160.
You could save that money, though, if you’re willing to take some time and put some elbow grease into it.
2. Deep Cleaning
Hire professionals for this bit. Get your rugs, carpets, and curtains deep cleaned. They ought to be completely stained and odor-free.
This is extremely critical for homes that have pets and/or children. The good news is that deep cleaning should cost you between $200 and $400. In most cases, the average cost is around $140.
3. Exterior and Interior Painting
A freshly painted home is a lot more inviting than a home with a paint job that’s falling apart.
Getting the exterior of your home a couple of coats of paint will cost you approximately $2,600 while painting the interior of your home will cost you around $1,500. It’s always advisable to paint your house in neutral colors when you intend to list your home for sale.
Again, you could save a pile of cash by undertaking to paint your home by yourself. Remember though, that you will need to have a lot of time on your hands and you cannot afford to do a shoddy job.
4. Curb Appeal
Your home’s curb appeal is as important as the insides of your home. Remember, this is what potential buyers will see first when they come to see your property. While the cost of professional lawn care may be only around $150, there’s a lot more you can do to landscape your front yard on a budget.
5. Home Staging
Home staging is one of the most important aspects of getting a home ready to sell. Hiring a professional stager will put you down as much as $2,000, but that is money well spent.
A recent study by the National Association of Realtors showed that a well-staged home not only made it easier to impress buyers into making a quick decision, it also helped homeowners get more than the asking price in some cases.
A home stager will rearrange your home in a manner that brings out the best features of your home to the fore, making it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. This is extremely important for your listing photographs and showings.
6. Miscellaneous Costs
While these are the major costs of preparing a house for sale, they do not cover everything.
For example, it would be prudent to change all your electrical plug points and light fixtures before you start showing your home.
Investing in renting or buying new kitchen appliances will also help you close on a suitable buyer faster.
Hosting open houses is one of the easiest ways to attract prospective buyers, and as long as your home is well-staged, will put you down only the cost of some snacks and soft drinks.
Make sure your home does not have any code violations. Get any major concerns addressed immediately. Remember that your buyer will have the home inspected before closing on the sale, and any red flags will severely hamper your final sale price.
For example, a faulty roof may cost a few thousand dollars to replace or repair. Not addressing it may reduce your home’s values by tens of thousands of dollars.
That being said, don’t bother about minor cosmetic damages. They will not make much of a difference to your home’s final valuation.
Are These Costs Worth the Investment?
Now you know what the costs of selling a house are, and what saves you money if you can do it yourself. So if you’re wondering if it’s worth spending so many thousands of dollars on a home you’re selling, the answer to this question is a loud, resounding, “Yes!”
Unless your home is in an extremely dilapidated condition that will cost way too much to fix, do give your home the tender loving care it requires before you sell it. As a return on your investment, these home improvements will ensure you make at least your asking sale price, if not more.
But then again, a lot depends on what kind of a market you’re selling in. Your listing agent will know the pulse of the market, so be sure to ask for advice before you make any decisions.
Read more: Comparable house sales