THE TRUE COSTS TO SELL YOUR HOUSE IN HOUSTON – NOT JUST COMMISSIONS
In this article I’m going to explain what most agents won’t. The real cost of selling your house. I believe it’s important for sellers to know what they are going to net at the closing table after it’s all said and done. And for this article, I am using a real example from one of our previous clients. Let’s dive in!
COMMISSIONS – THE MOST KNOWN COST
Let’s first get the most obvious expense for a seller out of the way. There is no set standard, but it’s most common to see listing agents charge 6%. Half of which is paid to the buyer’s agent, and the other half goes to your agent. This is typical and is also how our team conducts business.
Alright, so let’s get to the additional selling costs you can expect. I will use a real world example of a previous client of mine, so let me set out the details. This house was sold for $365,000 and the property tax rate was around 2.2%.
THE LESS KNOWN COSTS
When you sell, you will be prorated for property taxes up to the day of closing and give the buyer a credit. For example: if closing on the house occurs on March 15th you will be giving a tax credit to the buyer from January 1st to March 15th.
In this example that we are using, the seller gave a tax credit to the buyer in the amount of $2,100.
Interest prorations are determined by the lender and the date of closing, similar to the tax prorations. The lender will provide this number to the title company with your loan payoff.
In our example the seller paid $1,500.
The title company uses an attorney to draft up certain documents for closing. The fee that is charged isn’t much and in our example the seller paid $125.
Title Escrow Fees
A settlement fee is paid to the escrow officer at the title company who is closing the transaction and who has handled all of the paperwork up until this point. This fee includes the handling of all paperwork including recording the deed and the exchange of funds.
Some title companies charge more than others, but in this case the seller paid $450.
Owner’s Title Policy
The owner’s title policy is a fixed rate through the Texas Department of Insurance and is based off the sales price of the home. If you want to know exactly how much your title policy would cost I will leave a link here. The seller in our example paid $2,200.
Seller Contributions (If Any)
Depending on what you and your agent negotiated in the contract, you may be helping the buyer with their closing costs in the form of sellers contributions. Since every case is different there is no exact answer to this. This number will be different for every sale. The most common request in contributions, if any, is typically around $5,000. However, in our example the seller paid $0.
Mortgage Payoff & Liens
This part is pretty self-explanatory. The title company will order any payoffs from your mortgage company or lien holders. If you have any liens on the property, these will need to be paid so you can close on the property. For example, if you owe $200,000 on the house and you have a $5,000 lien on the property from not paying a contractor – then $205,000 will need to be taken from the proceeds. All of the payoffs will be handled by the title company and all appropriate parties will be paid accordingly.
TOTAL SELLING COSTS
Alright, so in our real world example our clients total cost to sell his house at $365,000, before any mortgage or lien payoffs, was $28,275.
Our goal is not to scare you, but to inform you! Our hope is that we can educate the world on buying and selling real estate and to be completely transparent with everyone. If you would like a more in depth and personal approach to how much it will cost to sell your house, or even if you want to know how much you could sell it for, give our team a call and we will be happy to help.