Quite regularly people ask me “If I were to sell my home, how much money will it cost me”? Unfortunately, the answer is always the same, “It depends”.
Believe me when I say that it drives me up the wall when people give me that answer to a question I ask. We have become a society where information is cheap and easy and we want instant gratification. So below is my attempt at answering the question in enough gory detail to feel comfortable that it will not mislead anyone. Continue reading to have an answer to the question “How much does it cost to sell a house in Connecticut?”
It is important to not just focus on the closing costs associated with selling your home. You must think holistically about all the different areas that will put a drain on your savings account. Starting with getting your house ready to sell.
Lets work backwards, in order to sell your home you need a contract with a buyer. In order to have a contract with a buyer you need someone make an offer and you accept. In order to get an offer you need to have someone who is interested in living in your home. In order to get someone interested in living in your home you need to make it appealing to them. Which is why you have costs associated with getting your home ready to sell.
Before selling your home it is important to take care of deferred maintenance, repairs and just an all around freshening up. Those costs can vary depending on what you want to do. It is best to consult with a real estate agent to understand what to focus on to get the most bang for your buck.
In order to show off your home in a way that will peak a buyers interest it is important to stage your home appropriately. A professional stager can come into your home and analyze what you can do to increase the visual appeal of your home, decorations and furnishings. They will provide you with a report for you to choose what to do yourself. Or you could hire them to help you.
Two items that sellers often opt not to do but could end up saving them more money in the long run is getting a pre-sale inspection and a pre-sale appraisal.
A pre-sale inspection by a Connecticut licensed home inspector will identify all the items that will come up when a buyer has your home inspected. This is important to not only prevent surprises but this information will help you price your house appropriately.
A pre-sale appraisal by a Connecticut licensed appraiser will give you an accurate home value so that you don’t waste time with overpricing or leave money on the table with underpricing.
However, as a real estate agent I don’t recommend doing so unless your home is completely unique and hard to put a value on by looking at comparable sales. A good real estate agent knows the market and will be able to properly price your home.
Once your have your home ready to sell and you put it on the market, hopefully it will sell quickly. Ideally, your home should sell in under 30 days if done correctly.
Once you are in contract to sell your home or what is also called escrow, you might have a couple costs associated with the inspection. Typically, in Connecticut the buyer is responsible for paying the fees of having an Connecticut licensed home inspector over to your house to perform the inspection.
However, there are a couple costs that the seller can be on the hook for. These can be having the septic tank pumped for inspection or having a pool opened for inspection. These costs are obviously only applicable if the house has a septic system or pool. A good tip is when you are in a sellers market to negotiate that the buyer be on the hook for these items 😉
The other costs that the seller can have while in contract is any repair items that the buyer negotiated with you after the inspection. For example, say the roof had a leak and the seller agreed to have that fixed in some way. It is proactive thinking to be prepared to put away a couple or even few thousand dollars for repair items on the home. After all, if you don’t need it, then you have some more money in your pocket!
Great, so you made it through escrow and now you are at the closing table. This is where your closing costs come into play. This is also the most common costs people associate with selling your home. I typically divide these costs into two buckets, 1-Debt Payoff Costs and 2-Closing Cost Fees.
Debt payoff costs are simply any debt that you have that will need to be paid off at closing. The most common debt in this category is paying off the mortgage. You can get a payoff amount by calling your mortgage servicing company and simply asking what the payoff amount is.
Typically in Connecticut, we pay taxes in advance. So assuming you are a good tax paying citizen then this would not apply to you. However, if you missed some tax payments then you will have to pay them off at closing.
The same goes for any unpaid association fees if you live in a condo or PUD complex. These costs will be the amount of months you have not paid them and any fees that the association may charge.
Also, if any liens have been put on the house in the form of a mechanics or judgement lien then those will have to be paid off as well. These are highly unlikely if you have paid for all work that you have had done or if a court ordered judgement has not been ruled against you.
Closing cost fees are money you are paying for professional services associated with selling and closing your house. It is important to pick professionals that will deliver on what you hire them to do. As a real estate agent myself, I feel that the number one value add that I bring to the table during the sale of your home is customer service. My goal is to handle the sale of your home and then get you to refer me to your most trusted friends and family.
The trade-off for selling your home and providing great customer service is commissions, which vary contract to contract but are usually between 5-6% of the selling price of your home. A solid strategy to selling your home quickly is to offer a higher commission to the buyers agent to entice the local real estate agents to show your home to more prospective home buyers.
The second most common professional service fee is the attorney who handles the closing of the house. It is important to pick an attorney who specializes in real estate transactions to ensure you are represented correctly and protected in the sale of one of your most important assets.
While you do get to choose your Realtor and Attorney you don’t get to choose the town employees that record documents on the land records. When you sell your home there is typically a recording fee for recording that the mortgage was released if you had one. This fee is usually per page and is a nominal cost but still something to factor in.
Finally, when selling your home the state and town want to tax you and get some revenue. This is the conveyance taxes that are charged when selling your home. In Connecticut, the town typically charges 0.25% of the sale price and the state charges 0.75% of the sale price for a total of 1%. There are a handful of towns that charge a higher percentage.
Please note, there is another tax that you could be on the hook for if you are not buying another home with the proceeds of the sale of your home. This tax is the capital gains tax. This is a topic that is best discussed with your accountant to plan how to best handle this tax for your situation.
Wow, that’s a lot of costs! But don’t be discouraged it sounds worse then it is and when the people sold their house to you, they had to pay these costs as well. The news is not all bad, there is actually some relief that you might not have been aware of. When closing on your home, some costs you already paid for actually have to reimburse you. Do you remember your last oil delivery? Well if there is anything left in the tank then the buyer will have to pay you current market prices for that remaining oil.
Also, remember how I told you that you prepay your taxes 6 months in advance? Well that means any remaining days that you are no longer living in the home will mean the town will have to reimburse you for those taxes, score! The same goes for insurance that was prepaid, it will be prorated and refunded back to you, double score!
Ok, so we have established that it takes a lot of money to sell a house. Hopefully, I have answered your question of “How Much Does It Cost To Sell a House in Connecticut”. When you add everything up including real estate commissions, closing costs and fees, money to repair the home it can be a significant amount. If you are going to be buying a new house with the proceeds make sure you factor in the correct amounts and are not shocked when you get your figures for closing! Oh yea, and don’t forget moving costs 🙂
About the Author: The above real estate information on How Much Does It Cost To Sell a House In Connecticut was provided by Kris Lippi, a local Connecticut real estate agent serving Hartford and Tolland Counties.
Are you currently thinking about selling your home? I have an awesome marketing plan that focuses on what works to sell your home! Contact Kris Lippi for a no obligation discussion, call or text 860-930-1371.
Kris Lippi services real estate sales in the following Hartford and Tolland County towns: Andover, Avon, Berlin, Bloomfield, Bolton, Bristol, Burlington, Canton, Columbia, Coventry, East Granby, East Hartford, East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Granby, Hartland, Hartford, Hebron, Manchester, Mansfield, Marlborough, New Britain, Newington, Plainville, Rocky Hill, Simsbury, Somers, South Windsor, Southington, Stafford, Suffield, Tolland, Union, Vernon, West Hartford, Wethersfield, Willington, Windsor, Windsor Locks Connecticut