How Much Will it Cost to Sell my House?

A recent shortage of homes for sale in Orlando, FL gives sellers an advantage in the current housing market. However, many sellers don’t that a real estate transaction will cost them thousands of dollars.

Paying a real estate commission and other associated costs can total up to 10% of the sale price of the home. Realtor commissions are negotiable and other fees can fluctuate slightly with the real estate market. Sellers should be prepared to pay their fair share of the numerous costs involved in selling a home.

Following is a general overview of the various costs to sell a house.

Real Estate Commissions

The commission paid to a real estate agent or agent is by far the biggest fee a seller will pay. The typical real estate commission paid will usually total about 5 to 6 percent, usually divided among 2 real estate agents unless only one agent was used in the transaction. That means if you sell your home for $300,000 you could end up paying up to $18,000.00 in commissions. Typically the commission is split between the buyer’s agent and the listing agent and is almost always paid by the seller.

The good news is that real estate commissions are negotiable [especially in a hot market] and this is something that you should discuss with your real estate agent before you sign the listing agreement.

Some homeowners will try to sell their homes on their own to avoid paying real estate commissions. This usually isn’t a good idea. Real estate agents have a lot of responsibilities in a real estate transaction including:

  • Showing the home to perspective buyers
  • Negotiating price
  • Reviewing the real estate contract
  • Scheduling inspections
  • Walking you through closing

So be prepared to do all of these things yourself if you decide to sell on your own.

House Repairs

If you want to sell your home for top dollar, make sure your home looks as good as possible before showing it to potential buyers. There are quite a few things you can do to enhance your home’s appearance without spending a lot of money. Some fresh paint and a bit of landscaping can go a long way. You should also make sure that the inside of the home is clean, de-cluttered and all the mechanical components are working properly.

If your home needs some updating in the kitchen and bathrooms, it might be investing if your budget allows for it. Depending on the surrounding homes in the area, an updated kitchen and bathrooms can raise the value of a home significantly.

If the home inspector [hired by the buyer] discovers there are problems with the house like a leaky roof or outdated plumbing, you’ll most likely have to make those repairs to close the deal.

Ordering A Home Inspection

As a seller, ordering a home inspection on your home is up to you, and it usually costs around 300-400 dollars. Some homeowners are willing to make this investment because they want to identify and fix any potential problems with the home before the buyer’s inspection is performed.

Ask your Orlando real estate agent whether or not they recommend you order your inspection. As the homeowner, you are obligated to disclose any material defects to the buyer if not corrected.

Staging Your Home

Unless you know what you’re doing, I recommend hiring a professional staging company to stage the home. A good home-stager can do amazing things with furniture and some simple home accessories. The best part is that you don’t have to buy anything. They have their furniture and decorations which they will come and pick up once you sell the home.

Retail buyers should be able to envision what a house can look like at its full potential when they walkthrough. In addition to some fresh paint and updating, it might be worth the investment of staging the home. If you’re living in the home, be sure it isn’t cluttered with too much furniture or junk. You should also make a habit of keeping the home spotless while it’s being marketed. This way you’ll be ready for any surprise showings.

Staging is a great tool for selling homes. We’ve been buying and selling fixer-upper homes in Orlando for a very long time and I can tell you from experience that a properly staged home will sell faster than one that isn’t staged every time!

Professional home stagers usually charge according to the home’s size and how many rooms you want to have staged. For example, if I’m selling a 4 bedroom home, I may only have 1 or 2 of the bedrooms staged and leave the rest of them empty.

Paying Utilities

If you don’t reside in the home you’re selling, be sure to keep the utilities on while it’s being sold. It can be a big turn-off for potential buyers to walk through a home with no ac or lights. It can also cause the buyer to wonder if everything’s working properly.

Paying off the Mortgage

The first thing that gets paid from the sale of your home is the remaining amount on your mortgage. Unless it’s a short sale transaction, Your mortgage payoff should be less than what your sale price is.

If you’re selling one house and buying another? Make sure to find out how much you can afford before buying.

Closing costs

Depending on what you’re able to negotiate, closing costs are generally the responsibility of the buyer. If you’re selling your home in a buyers market, you may be asked to kick in for closing costs as well.

These fees include homeowners association costs, property taxes, attorney fees, transfer taxes, title insurance, etc. Altogether, closing costs can range from between 2% to 4% of the sale price.

Capital Gains Tax

If you sell a home for more than you paid for it, it’s considered a capital gain and may need to report on your federal tax return. However, many homeowners are eligible to exclude up to 250k of capital gain and 500k for married couples who file jointly.

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Should I Stage My Orlando Home Before Selling?

Is it Worth the Hassle to Stage My Orlando Home?

Shakespeare once said that “all the world’s a stage”… this also includes the house you want to sell for top dollar.  As a Realtor in Orlando, I can’t tell you enough how much of a difference it can make to set the stage before revealing your home to the world.

Unless you’re an interior designer, staging a home is not a do-it-yourself type of task. Staging involves hiring professionals with talent and skillsets for interior design. A good stager will give your house a makeover that will make you think twice about selling. By using temporary furnishings and décor, your house will get more than its share of “oohs… and aahs…” from potential buyers doing their walk-through.

Quality staging is not like an insurance policy by any means and there’s no guarantee that your home will sell for more money because of it. However, It is a great and powerful marketing tool. Great staging should present your home in its most flattering light and will keep you at the higher end of the comps in your area. Have you ever heard of the saying “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”? When selling a house… when want it to be dressed to the 9’s to get the price you want.

Staging helps potential buyers to visualize what their life could look like living in such an elegantly decorated home.

Staging Leads to Great Listing Photos

Great photography is a must when marketing your home for sale. By having pics of a staged home instead of an empty or messy home, you’ll increase your chances of finding an online buyer 10 fold. Especially these days the majority of home buyers start their search by looking through online listings before hiring a Realtor in Orlando, FL.

Before Hiring Stagers Consider This

In addition to being Realtors, we are also Orlando real estate investors, we’ve bought and rehabbed many houses over the years. I can tell you from my own experience that staging does help. Like… a lot. There’s always one or two buyers that ask if they can also purchase the furniture and decorations.

But don’t just take our word for it. Recently, a survey from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® revealed that:

Almost 80% of buyers’ agents claimed staging makes it easy for the buyer to imagine the property as their future home. It’s kind of like helping the buyer to dream it to achieve it so your real estate agent can make the sale.

40% of Orlando listing agents say that a staged home spends a lot less time on the market compared to an empty house. For you the seller, time saved could mean more money in your pocket and being able to move out sooner. Listing agents also claimed that staged homes will fetch a higher dollar amount… between 6-10%!

Some listing agents in Orlando will offer staging services to their clients but most of the time you’ll have to hire someone and pay for the staging yourself.

Professional home stagers will usually charge according to how many rooms you want staging. We pay roughly $700 per month when we stage a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house which includes everything from the furniture to décor.

What about staging the house yourself?

If you’re on a tight budget, then hiring a professional may not be an option for you. If this is the case, check out some Youtube video tutorials on the subject to help guide you. If you have a friend or relative with really nice décor in their house, you may want to ask them for some staging ideas.

Declutter and clean at the very least

No potential buyer is going to enjoy walking through a messy or dirty house. Take the time to declutter and clean it like it’s never been cleaned before. Move some furniture into the garage if you have to, organize household items out of sight, and remove anything that makes a room look smaller. You should also change out any burnt light bulbs and have the carpets shampooed.

Keep the closets neat and organized

Make sure they can see the space, buyers always want to check out the closets. Remove some things if you need to rather than having that “stuffed full” look. Consider putting away personal items like family photos, religious pieces, and maybe some artwork to make the house look more neutral.

Only focus on rooms that count the most

You don’t have to stage your whole house to impress buyers. We find that staging rooms where people spend the most time will make the biggest impression on buyers. Staging the kitchen, Living room, Dining room, bathrooms, and Master bedroom is more than enough to make a buyer take notice.

Don’t forget to stage your yard

Curb appeal is super important for getting potential buyers through the front door. Make sure your yard looks the best it can. A freshly cut yard, manicured bushes, and some colorful plants can make a huge impact on buyers and set the stage for what the inside looks like.

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9 Reasons Why Some Homes in Orlando Sell Faster

Why is it that some homes in Orlando sell faster than others?

Have you ever wondered why some homes in Orlando sell much faster than others when they appear to be similar in the same neighborhood? The most obvious three reasons would be location, size, and condition. However, beyond that, some other factors can affect why some Orlando homes sell faster than others.

Great Curb Appeal- Top Realtors in Orlando say that the curb appeal of a home is the number one factor determining the amount of time that a home stays on the market. So if you’re selling a home in Orlando be sure that the front of your house looks the best that it can. Sometimes all it takes is a freshly cut lawn, manicured hedges, and a few colorful plants.

Homes ready to move-in- homes that are in “move-in ready” condition and are marketed as such usually sell much faster than homes in need of repair. Although there seems to be a million Orlando real estate investors buying fixer-uppers right now, the number of retail buyers is much higher.

Local School Districts- Homes that are located in A-rated school districts not only sell faster but also sell at a premium. For a young family, there’s a tremendous amount of value to them knowing that their kids will be going to the best schools. There’s it’s been researched that 1 in 5 Orlando home buyers would pay an additional 6 to 10 percent above their housing budget to be in a good school zone.

Professional Photography- As an Orlando realtor, it still baffles me how many listings I find on the MLS with horrible photos. If you want to sell your Orlando home fast for top dollar, make sure your agent uses top-quality photographs. Sometimes times, especially with our international buyers, people buy homes that they’ve never seen and all they have to go on is the photos. Also, homes in Orlando end up selling for more money when they have quality photos as opposed to homes with amateur-looking photography.

Have it staged elegantly staged- Homes that are tastefully staged sell 73% faster than homes that aren’t staged. If you can’t afford to have your home staged, you should at least make sure it’s decluttered and cleaned so it looks the best that it can for potential buyers.

Setting the listing price correctly- Homes that are priced at market value or just under have been proven to sell much faster than overpriced homes. Consult with your Orlando realtor to determine the correct listing price before putting it on the market.


Hiring a top Orlando Realtor– Buy hiring an experienced Orlando real estate agent who knows your community like the back of their hand, you’ll not only sell your home faster and for more money, but you’ll have the peace of mind knowing there’s a licensed real estate professional in your corner looking out for your best interests. Be sure to check an agent’s reviews and track record before hiring them.

Video and virtual tours- One thing we do with every one of our listings is to create a unique video showcasing the property. We do this because everyone loves watching videos and we share it on social networks, on the blog as well as the website. We’ve also found it to be a great sales tool to show potential buyers.

Home features- In addition to being an Orlando realtor, I also invest in Orlando real estate, mostly to buy and resell. I can tell you from experience that homes with certain upgrades like granite countertops, upgraded fixtures, and quality flooring. However, you shouldn’t over-invest in these upgrades unless you know you’ll get a return on your investment.

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Orlando Real Estate Market Still 5th In The Nation

Real Estate In Orlando Remains In Top 5 Markets For Investing

Are you looking for a great market to buy residential investment properties? Well, nothing’s a sure bet in this life, but the Orlando Real Estate Market  is one of the best in the nation for investing in single-family homes right now.

According to a list of the top twenty real estate markets for investing in the nation, Orlando comes in 5th place overall and number one in Florida.

The criteria that was used in determining was based on the growth of the population as well as job growth. Both of these circumstances are ideal for investing in single-family homes. All twenty of the markets that made the list increased in population by 2%.


Top 20 Real Estate Markets In The U.S For Investing:

  1. AustinRound Rock, TX
  2. HoustonBaytownSugar Land, TX
  3. RaleighCary, NC
  4. NashvilleDavidsonMurfreesboro, TN
  5. Orlando, FL
  6. Boise CityNampa, ID
  7. San Antonio, TX
  8. DenverAurora, CO
  9. CharlotteGastoniaConcord, NC
  10. North PortBradentonSarasota, FL
  11. Oklahoma City, OK
  12. PhoenixMesaScottsdale, AZ
  13. SeattleBellevueEverett, WA
  14. DallasPlanoIrving, TX
  15. OaklandFremontHayward, CA
  16. Fort WorthArlington, TX
  17. Las VegasParadise, NV
  18. Salt Lake City, UT
  19. San JoseSunnyvaleSanta Clara, CA
  20. San FranciscoSan MateoRedwood City, CA


Real Estate Agents In Orlando Are Elated!

Making #5 on the top twenty list in the nation is great press for attracting even more investors to the Orlando real estate market and Realtors in Orlando couldn’t be happier! Overall, most realtors have been busier this year when compared to the first quarter of 2014 and it’s because of the investor-friendly market we’re experiencing right now. Top Orlando Realtors are extremely busy right now with both buyers and sellers and will have to work even harder to keep up as we get further into 2015.


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Hunters Creek 5th Grader And His Dog Serving The Community

Matthew Conde, resident of Mar Vista in Hunters Creek has found a fun and constructive way to walk his dog “Jax”. Matthew says ” I’ve been walking him around the pond and he loves jumping in the water and picking up plastic bottles in the grass along the waterline. He kept bringing me the different objects that he found so now I have to bring a poop bag and a garbage bag!”. On a typical walk around the pond, Jax picks up between 3- 5 plastic bottles and other objects.

Matthew attends 5th grade at West Creek Elementary where he recently won 1st place in the school spelling bee. He’s an A student and is involved in several other activities like playing on a U-11 competitive soccer team for the Hunters


Creek Soccer Club. Matthew’s parents, who are both listing agents in Hunters Creek said that ” anything Matthew puts his mind to, he does well”. This is why when he came up with the idea of using his dog to help keep the neighborhood clean, they weren’t at all surprised.

“Jax” is a 10-month-old yellow Labrador Retriever who loves jumping in the water and playing fetch as most Labs do. Jax however, is more interested in retrieving plastic bottles and other objects out of the pond than he is in chasing balls. Matthew’s parents say that the 5th grader spends lots of time playing and training with the K9 on a daily basis. [right after he finishes his homework].

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