How much will it cost to sell your home? With commissions and fees to be paid, it could total thousands of dollars. As a home seller, it’s important to prepare for added costs at closing so there are no financial surprises when you make the sale.
According to Realtor.com, home sellers can expect to pay up to 3 percent of the home sale price in closing costs in addition to the real estate agent’s commission if a realtor is used. To provide some perspective, these costs could total $15,000 on a $500,000 home.
Avoid getting hit with unexpected fees when it’s time to sell your home by keeping these 5 potential costs of closing the deal on your radar.
1. Legal fees
Once you have a signed agreement of purchase and sale, you will need to hire a lawyer to discharge the mortgage from the title of the property and prepare a statement of adjustments that set out the purchase price, deposit, and prorates any prepaid items such as property taxes. To complete the sale of your home, you can expect to pay a minimum of $500 plus taxes for legal fees, plus disbursements.
2. Mortgage discharge
If you sell your home before the end of your mortgage term you will be subject to a mortgage prepayment penalty plus fees. For variable rate mortgages, penalties total three months of mortgage payments plus a discharge fee. Discharge fees range from $200 to $350 depending on the lender.
Ending a fixed rate mortgage mid-term could come at a higher cost, carrying the greater of three months interest or the interest-rate differential (IRD). It’s a good idea to contact your lender to find out what you’ll need to pay to break your mortgage or if you qualify for a more cost-effective option like transferring your mortgage to a new property.
3. Capital gains tax
If your home was not considered your primary residence for every year you owned it, you are required to pay tax on the profits of the sale (if any) at the applicable capital gains rate based on your taxable income. It’s important to consult your Chartered Professional Accountant for detailed information on the specific tax implications of selling a property.
4. Moving costs
Calculating moving costs may seem like putting the cart before the horse, but understanding how much money you’ll need to take the next step in your real estate journey is an important part of budgeting as a seller.
The cost to hire movers depends on the distance you’re moving, the overall weight of the items moved plus any additional services like packing and unpacking, and storage if needed. Doing preliminary research on moving costs and comparing quotes from different companies will give you an idea of how much money to set aside for this service, but you should probably budget for around $700 if you’re moving from a 1-bedroom apartment and $1,500 or more for a 2- bedroom home.
To alleviate the cost of moving, purge any unnecessary or unused items from your home. Also, decide if packing and unpacking services are required or if you can rely on help from friends and family.
5. Home staging costs
One of the most effective ways to secure a buyer quickly is to stage your property. According to Real Estate Magazine, “home staging can help reduce a property’s listing time on the market by 30 to 50 percent and could deliver a price that is 6 to 20 percent more than a vacant home or a home that is not properly staged.”
How much will it cost to stage your home? The Real Estate Staging Association places the cost of staging a vacant 2,000 to 2,500 square foot property at anywhere between $2,950 to $5,250 in Ontario.
Save yourself from financial surprises and consider these potential costs when selling your home.
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