House For Sale Sign

Selling the house during a divorce

Sometimes keeping the house just doesn't make sense financially. In this case it's best to sell the house and divide the proceeds.

As a homeowner, you’re aware of how much it costs to buy a home, from the down payment to closing costs. What you may not realize is that selling your home can be surprisingly expensive and you’ll want to be prepared.

Primary costs

Closing costs are typically the largest expense for sellers and you’ll be responsible for real estate commissions, taxes and fees. These costs will be taken from the sale proceeds of the home at closing.

Real estate commission, the largest of your costs, typically ranges from 5% to 6% of the home's sale price and is paid by you, the seller. This money is split between the buying and listing agents (and their respective brokers) for their services. Sometimes the split is 50/50, but it can vary based on a variety of factors.

As for fees and taxes, you can expect to pay between 2% and 4% of the home’s sale price. Be aware that these costs can vary significantly by state.

FOR SALE

Other costs

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Getting prepared

Do you want the convenience and walkability of city life? Or do you want a larger home with a yard, away from the hustle and bustle of urban living?

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Home inspection

Another item to remember is the home inspection. Although this service is paid by the buyer, they can request repairs that can affect your wallet.

The more prepared you are for these costs, the smoother your journey will be.

Preparing your home

First impressions matter. If you're selling your home, you'll want to take the time to make it shine.

Within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, you generally form your first impression. Your home is no different and nothing makes a better first impression than a home that is clean, decluttered and elicits happiness. If you're looking to prepare your house for the market, here are some tips that are sure to help.

Getting your home ready to sell takes time and effort. Just remember appearances matter. The cleaner, brighter, and more inviting you can make your home, the better.

Negotiating and accepting an offer

Congratulations, you received an offer! Now it's time get strategic.

Getting an offer on your home is a big deal and it's important that you do your homework ahead of time. You have a lot at stake and big decisions need to be made relatively quickly.

Knowing the “best and final” price you'll accept before you list your home will help make your selling journey less stressful.

With an offer in hand, you'll know the buyer's offer price and terms and conditions – including closing date, provisions for certain fees, any contingencies, and your deadline to respond. You now have three options:

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Navigating negotiations

Because your home is probably the biggest asset you have, it’s important to lean on your real estate agent for your next step. Their experience and knowledge of your local market conditions and personal/financial goals are key. Let them guide you.

Both parties have an ultimate goal: you want the best price for your home, the buyer wants the best deal. This is when you meet in the middle (if negotiating is in your best interest).

You’ll likely find yourself countering the initial offer – typically asking for a higher price or adjusting the closing date. If you opt to negotiate, your agent will submit a counteroffer to the buyer’s agent, detailing your requested changes. This puts the buyer in the driver’s seat, and they can now accept, counter or reject and move on (the risk associated with negotiating). In most cases, the back and forth between you and the buyer should last about one to three days, but it’s not uncommon for it to take longer.

When selling your home, think like a buyer.