What’s the price of selling your home? As a seller, you’re bound to face a parade of taxes, fees, commissions and miscellaneous closing costs that can whittle away up to 4 to 7 percent of your home’s sale price.
So, how do you know what net profit you’ll walk away with? Once you receive an offer, or maybe even when you sign your listing agreement, your real estate agent should give you a Seller’s Estimated Net Proceeds worksheet, which will list the expenses that will be deducted when you close.
Costs vary from state to state, but in general these are some of the closing fees you may encounter:
- Mortgage payoff balance. Deductions from the sale price include your own home loan, second mortgages and home-equity lines of credit.
- Loan payoff fee. Some lenders may charge you an administrative fee to pay off your loan.
- Lien releases. If you owe money to a contractor or for court judgments or property taxes, a lien may have been placed on your property. You must pay those liens before the sale can close.
- Prepayment penalty. Find out from your lender if there’s a penalty for paying off your loan early.
- Recording fees. If you owe money on the property, you need to pay this fee to show that your debts have been fully paid.
- Commissions for listing and selling agents. This is the price you pay to the agents for making the sale of your house. Usually the fee is 6 percent, with half going to your agent’s brokerage and the rest going to the buyer’s agent’s brokerage. The agents get paid by their respective brokerages.
- Notary fees. Fee charged by a notary to verify your identity and to make sure the documents are executed properly.
- Escrow fees. The escrow company is the intermediary between you and the buyer, ensuring that the money is handled properly. Escrow agents receive money from the lender, pay off your mortgage and closing costs, collect deposits and give the proceeds to the lender. You may be able to split these costs with the buyer.
- Title search fees. Title insurance is not insurance per se but says that you have the legal right to sell your home. Title companies search public records to come up with a title insurance commitment. That commitment says you own the home, and it details anything else that may affect the title, such as mortgages, liens, easements, restrictions and home owner association declarations.
- Seller concession. A seller concession helps buyers pay their closing costs. If the buyer asks you for a concession of, for example, 3 percent, that amount will be added to your agreed-upon home price, and you will give back that 3 percent to the buyer to pay for closing costs.
- Repairs. You may be required to pay for repairs, either by negotiation with the buyer or by a condition of the lender.
- Home warranty. Sometimes a seller will agree to foot the bill for a home warranty that offers a protection plan for the buyer’s first year in the home.
- Termite letter. This document is required in certain parts of the country.