The Cost To Sell Your Home

Cost to sell home loudoun county

First time sellers are often shocked at what it costs to sell a home.  They look at the comps in their neighborhood and determine what they think they will be able to get for their home, and then subtract what they owe on their mortgage and they think “Viola! I will have lots of money left over!”.  Then I come to visit.  They are less happy.  I hate that.

While I try to educate my first time buyers about how it works when they sell, not all agents do this… and many buyers can’t remember by the time it’s their turn to be sellers.  So I have put together this post in hopes of avoiding those frowns.

First… NATIONALLY, the average cost to sell totals 10%.  But costs vary largely among regions.  Beyond that statistic, in this post, I am only going to tell you the “typical” costs in my area.  Remember there are large variables, and most fees are negotiable.

Typical fees are as follows:

Brokerage Fees:  Depending on the property, location, price point and other information, brokerage commissions vary widely.  As a benchmark, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and most national relocation companies allow up to 6% of the sales price for brokerage commissions on a standard full service residential listing, which is split between the listing and selling brokerages.

Taxes:  In Virginia, the Grantors tax is .001 of the sales price or assessed value (around here the sales price is usually more than the assessed value).  I understand taxes to sell in other states are far more.

Settlement Related Charges:  Although different settlement companies may itemize the fees, generally, their total fees are going to be about $700-800.  This includes the settlement fee, document prep fees,  lien release and corresponding recordation and tracking fees.

Wood Destroying Insect Inspection:  Many lenders and most standard regional contracts require what we lazily refer to as a “Termite inspection” (but they aren’t just looking for termites, they are looking for anything that causes destruction to wood).  While it can be negotiated differently, the seller is typically the one that bears this expense, and it is $35-65.

Well & Septic:  For properties with a well and septic, the seller may be asked to bear the expense of completing the inspection and water quality testing.  Together, these costs are roughly $1000.

HOA Docs:  If your home falls in an area where there is a condo, homeowner or other property owners association the property likely falls under the Property Owners Association Act which requires that the seller provide a full resale disclosure package to the buyer.  Most management companies are charging about $250 for these now…. and if you have multiple HOAs, then the seller may have to bear this exppense for each association.

Home Warranty:  Many sellers either offer a home warranty or their buyers ask for these, so I generally include the expense as “expected”.  Their is a range for these depending on the policy, but I usually assume $450 for the cost.

So, as a basic example, to sell a $300,000 townhome (NOT on well and septic) in Loudoun County, your proceeds would look something like this:

$300000 – 6% Brokerage Commission – $750 Settlement Fees – Grantors Tax $300 – Pest Inspection $50 – HOA doc fees $250 – Home Warranty – $400 = $280,250.

That may seem high, but when compared to other areas, the cost to sell here is relatively low.  If we hit the national average, the proceeds would be more like $270,000.

From that you must still pay:

1. Your mortgage.  It is usually approximately your “principal balance” plus one mortgage payment.  (This is because you pay interest in arrears.)

2. Real Estate taxes.  EVEN if you have been paying into an escrow account, you must still pay the real estate taxes that are due at closing.  Later, when your mortgage is paid off, your mortgage company will send you a refund of what is in your escrow account.  So you’ll get that all back.  But that is later, after closing.


As many people who were first time home buyers in 2007-2009 are now becoming first time sellers, I hope this will help you to be prepared for what you might learn when a listing agent comes to meet you..  Please keep in mind this post is intended to give you GENERAL information.  This is not a quote or estimate on what it will cost to sell YOUR home.  Your situation could result in higher or lower fees. Also, should you be considering a “short sale”, please note that all of these fees are absorbed by the mortgage company when you close.  There are no out of pocket expenses to the seller. Individual appointments are available to discuss the specifics of your home and your transaction.  Most fees are completely negotiable (except the taxes).

Are you ready to get a more customized quote?  Give me a call!

Vicky Chrisner

Fieldstone Real Estate


See My Schedule HERE to request an appointment for a personal meeting or phone call.

 Cost to sell home loudoun county

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