Use our home sale calculator to calculate how much you could earn by selling your home.
How our home sale calculator works
Nationwide, sellers usually pay around 7.59–8.59% in selling costs. For the average home value in the U.S. ($354,165), that can come out to $26,000.
Seller fees are usually higher than buyer fees. This is because sellers pay for the commissions of all the agents involved in a transaction, which can be as high as 6%. They also pay for more settlement costs, such the deed transfer, title fees, attorney fees, escrow fees, and conveyance fees.
To help prevent surprises, below is a list of common closing costs that sellers are often responsible for paying.
First mortgage payoff
This is the remaining balance on your primary mortgage, plus any additional fees you owe to your lender. Depending on your contract, you may be charged a prepayment fee, which can be around 2% of your outstanding balance. Ask your lender for a payoff quote.
Second mortgage payoff
This is what you owe on a second mortgage, including origination fees or interest. Like with first mortgages, there may be a prepayment penalty for repaying the mortgage off earlier than your lender expected.
You have to clear any liens on your house before you sell it. These liens can be tax liens (e.g., back taxes owed to the government), overdue homeowners association fees, judgments (e.g., those incurred during a lawsuit), child support and alimony payments, or construction liens.
You pay transfer taxes to a city, county, or state government to transfer your property deed to the buyer. They're calculated using a percentage of your home sale, with the exact amount depending on your location.
Also known as: deed taxes, stamp taxes, registry taxes
You pay property taxes for the months you lived in your home up until the time of closing. For example, if you close in February, then you'll pay taxes for both January and February.
These are costs to finalize the sale of your property, such as deed preparation, tax certification, or title examinations.
Sellers pay 5–6% of their home sale in realtor commissions, on average. This cost covers both the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent — and takes up the most sizable chunk of seller closing costs.
But you can significantly lower this fee by working with a low-commission real estate agent or splitting the costs with buyers.
» MORE: Real Estate Commission Calculator: How Much Will You Owe Your Agent?
Some real estate agencies charge a fixed fee for administrative costs, such as storing sensitive documents, marketing properties for sellers, and paying the salaries of unlicensed employees.
An escrow company mediates and handles the transfer of funds and sensitive documents between buyers and sellers. Escrow will charge a fee, which is typically split between buyers and sellers.
Title insurance (owner's policy)
Title insurance protects buyers from any problems that may come up with the title after it’s transferred into their name, such as fraud, forged deeds, and liens. The seller usually pays this to avoid any lawsuits against them.
» MORE: How Much Does Owner's Title Insurance Cost?
Depending on your state, you may have to hire an attorney at closing. The following states and territories require an attorney at closing: FL, GA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MS, NH, NJ, NY, ND, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA, WV, and Washington, DC.
Seller concessions (sometimes called assists or contributions) are buyer closing costs that sellers agree to pay. For example, a seller may agree to pay for home appraisals, inspections, property taxes, loan origination fees, title insurance, or attorney fees. Concessions aren't required, though sellers usually offer them as an incentive to attract more buyers.
If you're buying and selling a home at the same time, you should budget 1–2% of your home's expected sale price for the transition period between the two homes. This buffer can help you cover the mortgage, home insurance, HOA fees, property taxes, and utilities for two homes.
Alternatively, you might sell your home before buying a new one, in which case you’ll have to pay for temporary lodging (monthly rent or a hotel) and possibly storage.
Staging and prep
The national average for home staging is $1,722, though it can range $749–2,820. This includes a $150–600 initial two-hour consultation by professional stagers to recommend how to best arrange your home. After that, sellers pay $500 to $600 per month for each room.
You might need to make major or minor repairs to sell your home. While you don’t have to completely revamp every room, you want buyers to know your home is safe to live in. Your real estate agent can help you decide which repairs you should complete.
The national average for moving costs is $1,667, ranging $889–2,447 for a crew of two professional movers within 100 miles. The price jumps to as high as $6,900 for out-of-state moves.
How to make more money when you sell your house
1. List with a low commission realtor
Realtor commissions typically come out to 5–6% of your home's sale price. Naturally, one of the best ways to cut costs and earn more profit is to list with a lower commission.
But here’s where it gets tricky — you don’t want to list with just anyone. Often you’ll sell your home for more money when you work with an agent who has tons of experience selling properties in your area. If it means paying a higher commission for an agent who can ultimately sell your home for a better price, you might be better off paying the higher fee.
Our friends at Clever Real Estate match you with experienced local agents who can sell your home for top dollar — and save you thousands on commission.
2. Choose the best time to sell
Traditionally, the best time to sell your home is between early spring and summer — but this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Your real estate agent can help you analyze market trends for your area and pick the most profitable time to list your home.
3. List it at the right price
Listing a home above the average price for your area won’t bring you more money. In fact, it can scare off buyers, quash demand for your home, and keep essential bidding wars from taking place.
You want to list your home at a realistic price that draws more buyers in. Your realtor can help you calculate this by doing a comparative market analysis (CMA), which compares your home with similar properties that have sold in your area. With a CMA, an agent can estimate an accurate price that will attract buyers.
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The money you make from a home sale is not considered income, though it might be subject to a capital gains tax. That's the difference between what you paid for your property and what you sold it for. For instance, if you bought a property for $75,000 and sold it for $375,000, then your capital gain would be $300,000.
Whether you’re taxed depends on how long you’ve owned the property and how much you pocket. The property must be your primary residence, and you’d pay taxes on the amount that’s higher than the capital gain amount.
The IRS exempts you from paying capital gains taxes on your home sale if you meet these conditions:
Home sale calculator FAQs
To calculate how much equity you’ll have when you sell your home, subtract how much you owe on your mortgage from your home’s market value. This will give you an estimate of your equity right now. Then factor in closing costs (usually 7.59–8.59% of your home’s value). Whatever's left over will be your estimated profits from the home sale.
The For Sale By Owner (FSBO) process varies heavily from state to state, but you basically have three options: sell by yourself, sell only to cash buyers, or hire a real estate attorney. However, unless you’re experienced in home selling, the process will be time-consuming and stressful, and you might net less profits than if you had listed with an agent.
When you sell your home, you must first pay the outstanding balance on your mortgage, the commissions to all real estate agents involved in the transaction, and closing fees. Once these are paid, you can keep whatever is left over.
Nationwide, the best time to sell a home is between May and July.
In "wet funding'' states, the seller gets paid on closing day. In “dry funding” states, however, it can take up to four days before the seller is paid. Only nine states are dry funding: AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, NV, NM, OR, WA. Estimate how much you'll make on your home sale.