You’ve decided to sell your house on your own, and you know there will be SOME costs involved. So, you’re now asking: “What should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in Oklahoma City?”
The answer may surprise you…..
It is true that home prices are rising in quite a few markets nationwide. It may also be the case that your home has appreciated considerably over the years. But before you count your huge profits, you’ll need to factor in some obvious and not-so-obvious costs of selling your house.
What Should I Budget for if I Sell My House on My Own in Oklahoma City
Let’s get this one out of the way right from the start. A lot of home sellers think that in a hot market they can sell a house themselves and thus avoid the real estate agent commission fees. But the truth is often otherwise. Even if you sell your house on your own, you likely still have to pay the agent working with the buyer a commission (3% usually). Agents typically get paid 6% to sell a home. They split this 50/50 with the agent that brings the buyer. So selling your house on your own saves you 3%. Most buyers are under contract to work with an agent though. Agents won’t show your home to their buyers if you won’t pay their commission, simple as that.
Most buyers aren’t interested in a house that has problems or needs anything more than light repairs/updates. Most of the time, home sellers have to do some repairs before they put their house on the market. If the maintenance has been allowed to lapse, these repair costs can be fairly substantial. A new roof, for example, can set you back by as much as $20,000. Also keep in mind that just because you think something is cheap and easy (like painting or replacing carpet or “updating a bathroom”)…the buyers looking at your house might see it as a huge and expensive undertaking.
Curb appeal is of utmost importance: it’s what gets potential buyers to stop and do a double-take on your house. Landscaping is the number-one improvement that most enhances your curb appeal. The cost of a thorough, full-blown landscaping job performed by a professional landscaping service runs, on average, just a little over $3,000. If you want to get the best bang for your buck….trim all bushes/trees, clean up trash around your yard, plant some new flowers, throw down some fresh mulch, and put a few flowers in some pots. Also, make sure your address on your curb is freshly painted and all light fixtures are in good shape and working.
Staging and Photography
Many people – when asking, “What should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in Oklahoma City?” – often neglect to factor in this cost. But if you don’t want your house to sit on the market for months on end, you probably shouldn’t neglect staging AND professional photography.
Staging involves setting up and arranging your home so that it appears as appealing and inviting as possible. In other words, a home stager makes sure your house decorations appeal to a wide variety of buyers and is not cluttered. Well worth the few hundred dollars it might cost. Buyers first fall in love with a home for sale by seeing it online. The pictures are what sells a home. If you have poor pictures or not enough good ones, you are missing out on potential buyers. The difference between professional home pictures and ones from your smartphone is night and day. Invest the $300 – $1,200 and hire a professional photographer to market your house correctly.
If you plan to move out of your current house into a new home, you can’t just shut the utilities off in the home you leave behind. Buyers absolutely do not want to walk through a cold (or hot) and dark house. Buyers will question why you have the utilities off too. Is there something wrong with the electricity they are hiding? Could there be a leak in the gas lines? When you do accept an offer from a buyer, they’ll have to inspect the house which requires utilities be turned on so save some stress and keep them on.
Capital Gains Taxes
And then there are capital gains taxes. If your house has appreciated quite a bit, you may have to pay this tax (which is based on the difference between purchase and sale prices, minus the cost of documented improvements). There are, however, some pretty generous exemptions from the IRS, but just bear in mind that Uncle Sam may take a cut.
So if you’re wondering, “What should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in Oklahoma City?” you now know the answer is . . . quite a lot, actually.