Before selling your home in Chicago, it’s important to weigh the costs of listing with an agent against other options. While working with an agent may seem like the obvious choice, it’s essential to understand the additional expenses beyond their commission, such as repairs and staging. Therefore, it’s crucial to research all possible scenarios, including selling directly to a cash buyer or using a flat-fee MLS service, to make an informed decision that maximizes your profit and minimizes stress. Don’t rush into signing a listing agreement with an agent until you have considered all the costs of listing with an agent .
You might encounter the following charges when using an agent to advertise your property:
Commissions – 6%+ of the final sale price
Normally, it is the seller who bears the complete cost of commission fees, which typically range around 6% but may vary. Apart from commissions, agents may also charge additional fees for administrative, agent, and notary services.
Inspections – At least a few hundred dollars
Typically, the expense of an inspection is considered part of the closing costs and therefore, the responsibility of the buyer. Nevertheless, as a bargaining tool, more and more sellers are choosing to cover this expense. Following the inspection, any required repairs are then negotiated between the buyer and the seller.
Appraisals – A few hundred dollars
The obligation of arranging an appraisal for a property falls on the purchaser. If the purchaser is collaborating with a lender, the lender will demand that the property is appraised prior to concluding the transaction. Nonetheless, the expense of the appraisal can be discussed and may eventually be covered by the seller. At times, vendors will have an appraisal carried out themselves as a bargaining strategy for a sale. It is advisable to retain a copy of any appraisal conducted on your property for future reference.
Cleaning – $0 to a few hundred
If you plan to sell your house, it is essential to ensure that it is immaculately clean. It is recommended to opt for a thorough cleaning of the entire house, either by yourself or by hiring a professional cleaning service. This is because potential buyers may show up at any time, and the house needs to be presentable and clean around the clock, including during open houses and surprise showings. If you have a busy schedule, you may need to enlist the help of a cleaning service to keep your home in pristine condition. The cost of the cleaning service will depend on the size of your home and the level of cleaning required, with prices starting at $100 per cleaning session.
Staging – $0 to a few hundred
If your house is already adorned with freshly bought hand towels, aromatic candles, vividly colored throw pillows, and strategically placed indoor plants, then congratulations! However, for the rest of us, achieving that picture-perfect “catalog-worthy” ambiance will require some effort. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor, as there are plenty of ways to do it yourself or find affordable options at major retail stores. Regardless of your approach, it’s important to keep your space organized and coordinated. If you’re not particularly adept at interior design, consider seeking assistance from a friend or consulting Pinterest. Even adding a few small decorative items can transform a room and make it feel truly homely.
Repairs – Varies
As stated earlier, buyers and sellers must negotiate repairs. If you are a seller and aware of any necessary repairs, it is recommended to disclose them to potential buyers and factor the costs into your asking price. Consider offering a credit for repairs to assure the buyer of their purchase. Any additional repairs discovered after an inspection must be addressed and mutually agreed upon before the sale can be completed.
Bills During The Listing Period – Vary (Can be hundreds or even thousands!)
It is necessary to keep the utilities running even if you have vacated your home and put it up for sale. The duration of the listing is uncertain and it could take several months before your property gets sold. Moreover, you are liable to pay property taxes and homeowners insurance until the closing date. If your property stays on the market for an extended period, which is common, these expenses can accumulate and become a significant financial burden.