How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House?

Plan to spend at least 10% of the home price in selling costs, as well as what you need to pay off your mortgage.
Barbara Marquand
Margarette Burnette
By Margarette Burnette and  Barbara Marquand 
Updated
Edited by Alice Holbrook Reviewed by Michelle Blackford

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If you're selling a home, you'll want to know how much it's going to cost to close the deal. That way, you can make a plan for buying your next house.

In addition to what's needed to pay off your mortgage, it’s common to spend about 10% to 15% of the home price in selling costs. But some things are optional.

Cost of selling a house: Most common expenses

Here are some of the typical expenses you can expect to pay when selling a house.

Real estate agent commissions

Editor's Note: In April 2024, a judge granted preliminary approval to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit over real estate agents' commissions. See how that will affect home buyers and home sellers.

The seller typically pays a commission of 5% to 6% of the home purchase price when the deal closes. This is split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. Buyer’s agents typically don’t charge a fee to their clients.

The commission is likely the biggest expense you’ll pay, so when interviewing listing agents, ask specifically what they charge. Some are willing to negotiate their rates. Make sure you agree on commission terms in writing.

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Taxes and neighborhood fees

Taxes vary widely by area. Ask your real estate agent what to budget for your situation.

  • Property tax: You’ll likely owe a prorated share of property taxes when you sell your home. The amount could be close to zero if you’ve recently paid taxes, or several thousand dollars if the due date is around the corner.

  • Real estate transfer tax: Some states or local jurisdictions have a transfer tax, which is charged when the property changes ownership. (This is different from a title filing fee, which is a separate administrative fee.) The amount depends on your location and the property value, and depending on local laws, it could be paid by the buyer, seller or both.

  • Capital gains taxes: You may also face capital gains taxes if the profit you make from selling your home is more than $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples on joint tax returns).

  • HOA fees: If your neighborhood has a homeowners association, expect to pay prorated membership fees. You may also need to pay an HOA transfer fee.

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