Sean de Moraes column: The hidden costs of selling your home |

Sean de Moraes column: The hidden costs of selling your home

When sellers start to look at selling their homes, many don’t take into account the hidden costs. Your home’s value, where you live and the condition of your home can drastically affect how much you can expect to pay to sell your home. Some of these are upfront costs, while others you won’t pay until and unless you sell your home.

The following are some upfront costs you should consider investing in to get the best and highest price for your home.

1. Painting: One of the most cost effective ways to improve the appearance of your home is to add a fresh coat of paint. Refrain from the temptation of going too bold, however.

2. Window Washing: Consider having your windows cleaned so people can see out.

3. Landscaping: Trim the trees and shrubs, buy some flowers, freshen up the mulch.

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4. Staging: Consider having a professional stager help rearrange your furniture, remove items or add items to make your home more inviting to a potential buyer.

5. Storage: Get rid of it. Clutter in the home never helps. Buyers have a hard time using their imagination and seeing through the junk. Consider renting a storage unit and moving the nonessentials there during the sale process.

6. Cleaning: Clean, clean, clean … This can’t be stressed enough, unless you’re looking to sell a fixer-upper. A dirty home is the number one turnoff to any home buyer, period.

Once you’ve found a buyer and you’re moving to closing, the following are some additional expenses you should expect to pay.

1. Survey: Most buyers will ask that a seller provide a survey so a buyer knows exactly what they are buying. There is a lot of information, either known or unknown, that can pop up on survey. Easements and encroachments are just a few things.

2. Real estate commissions: Realtor commissions get paid at closing, and generally speaking only upon a successful closing.

3. Other closing costs: Items that don’t generally get thought about are closing fees, recording fees, doc prep fees, HOA status letter fees, pro-rated taxes and title insurance.

4. Capital gains tax: How long have you been in your home and will you be on the hook for any capital gains taxes? Best here to consult with your accountant.

5. Moving costs: Then there are the actual moving costs. Dependent on where you’re headed, these costs can add up quickly.

Sean de Moraes is an agent with Roaring Fork Sotheby’s. He can be reached at

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