5 Unexpected Costs of Selling Your Home in Rancho Santa Margarita

The costs of selling your home in Rancho Santa Margarita can be quite unexpected. These costs can be a bummer if you did not know about them beforehand and they can really make the expected profits take a big hit. Let’s take a look at these surprising costs you didn’t know existed.

1. Light and Heat

Believe it or not, you have to cater for these expenses if you are selling your home while it sits empty. You would not want your potential buyers encountering a cold and dark house when they come to prospect, would you? No one wants to fumble around while checking out the rooms.

This also makes it easier for the person to tell if they like your home. A warm home is cozier and easier to settle into. Make sure that you leave the heat and light on before the sale or have a plan to ensure they are kept on when potential buyers and agents stop by. To have a rough estimate of how much this will cost, use statistics from your current bills.

2. Repairs and Landscaping

Run a quick maintenance check on your house to make sure that it’s in great condition for sale. Fixing damaged windows and repainting are some of the repairs that you might encounter. However, major remodels can be left out of the cost of selling your home as this can be left for the buyer.

If your home has a garden or a yard, you should expect to incur landscaping expenses among the costs of selling your home. While your home sits in waiting, the grass in the yard and the weed in the garden do not. As such, you should prepare to pay landscapers to trim the garden up for you if you cannot do it yourself.

One never knows when buyers will stop by and you always have to ensure that your home is in great shape in order to appeal to the buyers’ eyes. Since the yard is the first place they see, you should make a point of making it presentable every now and then.

3. Staging

This may be unnecessary, but can really impress buyers and even make them pay more for your home. Should you decide to stage (and here’s why you should know how to), prepare yourself to pay a decorator or an interior designer to help organize and maybe even refurnish your home.

You might also want to consider adding decorative items to your home to make it more appealing. Home staging can be quite expensive but totally worth it if you’re up for it.


4. Closing Costs and Home Warranty for the Buyer

Depending on your agreement with the buyer, you might have to cater for the standard costs that are associated with the closure of the deal. These fees include paying the escrow company, recording, and transfer of the property, insurance, among others.

Under normal circumstances, these costs may add up to between 2% and 4% of the total selling price.

To make your buyer feel secure about purchasing your home, it is wise to buy a home warranty on their behalf. This is a small service contract that would cover repairs to certain systems and appliances within the house during the first year of ownership. It would cost around $500.

This cost, however, does not match up to the benefits it accrues in terms of trust build-up between you and the buyer.

5. Pre-inspection Reports

This may not be entirely necessary. However, if you have lived in your home for a long time, it may have to fall into the costs of selling your home. This is because there may be some problems that come up that you are completely oblivious to.

It would be preferable to know about such issues and have them fixed before your buyer finds out about them and get upset about them. This would derail negotiations between you and you might end up without a sale.

As a home seller, you should be ready to face the cost of selling your home. Remember, meeting these costs guarantees that your home is sold quicker and with less of a fuss from your buyer. Some of these costs even guarantee that you get the amount you want from the house! Add value to your home by meeting these costs.


Give Us a Call!

If you’re still trying to figure out how to calculate the costs of selling your home, call us at 949-350-0146 or email us at Debrakovacs@cox.net and we can give you more tips that can get your property moving today!

What Are The Costs of Selling Your Home in Southern California?

Do you want to sell a home? You’ve probably asked yourself about what would be the cost of selling your home. This article is going to help you with everything that you need to know in order to do the math yourself. However, don’t forget to first learn how The Kovacs Connection’s 21st Century Real Estate Marketing Plan can set your home apart from others and earn you more.

Let’s get started!

When a real estate agent comes to list your home, they are going to have a net sheet with them. A net sheet shows approximately how much the seller will be paying or receiving during the sale. In total, the seller needs to pay between 6-7% of the purchase price of the home.

So, now you’re probably asking yourself what do these costs include. Let’s break down each one of them in detail. In order to explain how the whole process goes, we’re going to use a $500,000 home as our example.


The most common commission charged is between 6-7%. In case of a 5% commission, 2 ½ % goes to the agent that the seller hires to sell the home (listing broker), and then the same amount goes to the agent that represents a person that’s buying a home (selling broker).

The selling agent actually brings the buyer, which can be a bit confusing, but that’s just the way it is. There are some cases where the listing broker can make a deal with the seller by offering a reduced commission if they are able to find and represent both the seller and buyer of the home.

If it comes to that, then that situation is called a dual agency. Okay, now let’s take that $500,000 home. If the commission is 5%, that is going to come to $25,000, which means that each side is going to get $12,500.

Brokerage Processing Fees

Most Real Estate offices are going to take from you between $300-$500. That is if you are running the transaction through one of these offices.

Title Charges

The home seller will need to pay approximately $1,320 for Title Insurance on our $500,000 home. But, that is the insurance policy that a seller buys in order to ensure a clear title. There are also some other Title Fees which, when combined, will cost the seller an additional $100.

Escrow Fees

Both sides of the transaction pay their own escrow fees. In this case, escrow fees are going to cost $1,500. We reach that number by taking a fee of $250 and then adding $2.50 per one thousand of the full price of the home. A seller is also going to pay a documentation fee of $75, a loan payoff fee of $50 per loan payoff, a wire fee of $25, and an archive fee of $50.

Governmental Retrofit (Los Angeles County)

A Retrofit certification needs to be performed on homes that are being sold in Los Angeles County. This can get pretty expensive for the seller. The cost of this depends on what needs to be installed in a home.

HOA (Home Owners Association) Transfer Fees

This applies only when the seller has HOA’s involved. The cost of these documents can vary, but some of them can even cost from $300-$400. But, the buyer of the home is going to want to get these documents, so they can review them and determine what the HOA is going to expect of them. In turn, the buyer can decide if they want to buy the home with the particular regulations.


Termite Inspection

Some time ago, this was the seller’s responsibility. But, as of November 20, 2014, the termite inspection needs to be done by the buyer of the home. However, if it happens that the buyer’s termite inspector finds some damage that was done by the termites, he can ask you to perform the needed repairs or give credit for the needed repairs to be performed.

Flood Certification

The seller has to have the home certified because that way they can show the buyer how much it’s going to cost them to buy the flood insurance. This certification can be pretty expensive. It can cost the seller $500. It can also cause some issues for the seller while trying to sell their home.

Home Warranty

The buyer has the option to ask for a home warranty. However, the seller is not required to purchase a home warranty plan. But, it would be good to do so because that would be a good faith gesture by the seller to the buyer. The warranty plan for one year generally costs from $350-$550.

Transfer Taxes

The home seller needs to pay State and local transfer taxes. In Los Angeles County and Ventura County, these taxes cost approximately $550.

Natural Hazard Disclosure

A Natural Hazard Disclosure costs approximately between $85-$125. These reports are very detailed, and they are actually very interesting to read.

Requests for Repair

The cost of selling your home can increase if there is any damage in the home. That is because the buyer has the opportunity to inspect the home to see if there is anything that needs to be repaired. If they find something that’s damaged, they can ask the seller to either perform the needed repairs or give credit for the repairs to be done.

So, to make the cost of selling your home as small as possible, it is important to tell the buyer everything they need to know early on in the transaction.

Paying Off the Mortgage

In case the seller didn’t pay for the home in full, it is vital that they pay off the balance of their loan or mortgage. If the seller happens to have any liens on the home, then these will need to be settled, too.

As you can see, it is not always possible to precisely calculate how much would the cost of selling your home be. But, it is very easy to approximately calculate costs.

It may seem like quite a bit of fees to digest, but the correct pricing will get you on the right side of a sale (the one that makes you a healthy profit.) We hope that this article will help you understand the calculation progress, so you can sell your home with no stress.

While you’re selling your home, it’s likely that you’re looking for another home to move to. Be sure to check out our Featured Communities to give you a better idea of what’s out there!

Need Help?

This guide should be able to answer most of your questions, but if you need more help please call us at 949-350-0146 or email us at Debrakovacs@cox.net and we can help understand the costs of selling your home in today’s market.