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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The 7 Most Common Home Selling Mistakes


When Selling an Orlando Home Avoid These Common Mistakes

Setting the price on your own- The Orlando real estate market is constantly changing. Don’t think that you can determine what your listing price should be on your Orlando home just by going to Zillow. To come up with the true value of your home enlist the help of an experienced Orlando Realtor. Listing your home for the correct price from the beginning is crucial to a successful home sale. Failure to do so can result in longer than average days on the market which translates into less money in your pocket.

Pricing it too high from the beginning- If your home is overpriced you’ll get fewer showings because buyers looking for homes up to a certain price range may not even bother looking at yours. You will ultimately have to lower the price anyway to get it sold so make sure your listing price is realistically from the start.

Using an unusual listing price- When buyers use real estate search tools, they have to input ranges for example, “homes between $150,000-$200,000.” So if you set an unusual listing price, like $201,500.00 then you just might miss out on a potential buyer.

Overpricing on purpose- If you’re not in a rush to sell you may want to consider waiting to list your home until you are. Some homeowners adopt a strategy of listing it high thinking they’ll get the perfect buyer out of the blue that’s willing to pay a lot more than the home is worth because they’ve just fallen in love with the home and can’t live without it. This never happens! The fact is, the longer a home sits on the market the fewer showings you’ll get, and if it’s overpriced then don’t hold your breath for that fantasy buyer.


Don’t get emotional- Remember, selling a home is just a business transaction so keep your emotions out of it. And never, ever walk around your house with a potential buyer, chances are you won’t have the same taste which can create an awkward situation for the both of you when they make a negative comment about your decor. Even if you get a low ball offer don’t take it personally. You should consider any offer a starting point for negotiation.

Not keeping it in good condition- Unless your home is a fixer-upper in need of major repair, make sure that it looks the best that it can. Having it clutter-free, clean and tastefully staged will go a long way in not only attracting more potential buyers, but also in getting top dollar and selling quickly.

Selling without a REALTOR- People who sell their homes “FOR SALE BY OWNER” stay on the market a lot longer than they should and sell for a lot less than those who enlisted the help of an Orlando REALTOR. By using an experienced real estate agent, you’ll have the peace of mind that someone’s in your corner looking out for your best interests as well as handling any problems that may arise throughout the transaction.

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The 9 Top Reasons Why Some Orlando Homes Sell Faster

1- Curb Appeal

Believe it or not, curb appeal is the #1 factor that affects the time a home is on the market. By making your home look its best from the street, you are off to a good start.

 2- Good School Districts

Studies show that homes in good school districts sell faster and at a premium than homes located in less desirable school districts. When Orlando Realtors were surveyed, they said that 1 in 5 people would pay up to 10% over their budget to be in the right school district.


 3- Move-in ready

Orlando homes that are move-in ready sell 12% faster than homes that need some work or are needing appliances. The less you give a potential buyer to complain about, the better off you are.

 4- Great photography

Orlando homes that are marketed with professional photos sell much faster than pictures taken with your smartphone. Using wide-angle lenses will also make rooms look larger and show better in print as well as online marketing.

 5- Staging makes a huge difference!

Homes that are staged spend an average of 73% less time on the market than homes that aren’t staged.

 6-Video Marketing

Using virtual tours and Youtube videos to market a home will get it sold 20% faster than when no video marketing has been done.


7- Upgrades

Homes with upgrades such as quartz, granite, custom cabinets, stainless appliances, high end light fixtures, tankless water heater, etc. sell anywhere from 34 to 61 days faster than homes with n om upgrades.


8- Pricing it Correctly

Pricing a home correctly from the start will probably sell in less than 2 months. Overpricing can cause your home to sit for 6 months or more.


Choosing The Right Realtor for the job

9- This should probably be #1 on the list. Working with an Orlando Listing Specialist will get your home sold up to 40% faster than with a new agent.

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Value of Orlando Homes Predicted to Increase by 7.3% in 2015

Orlando Homes On The Upswing

It is an excellent time for homeowners in the Orlando area. The value of homes in the Orlando metropolitan area is predicted to increase by 7.3 percent in 2015. According to the Real Estate Market Report published by Zillow, this rise easily beats the national prediction of 2.9 percent.

Other predictions

Other than the predicted increase in home values, there are a number of other predictions about the Orlando real estate residential market embedded in the report:

* The average Orlando real estate home value will increase by 15 percent every year. The value has increased to about $161,300. In the other facet, values also decreased in short term and dipped by 1.1 percent in the period between April and May. According to Orlando realtors, home values in the Orlando metropolitan area are now back to the levels witnessed from 2004 to 2007.
* The average rental value increased by 4.4 percent every year to reach $1,296.
* The inventory of total listed for sale residences increased 36.5 percent every year and increased by 4.4 percent every month in May.

When considered all over the United States, the listed for-sale home inventory increased in May and jumped 11.8 percent. Another fact that should be considered here is that a majority of these gains were achieved among residences that are priced in top one-third and middle home values. According to Orlando Realtors, the sale of homes in affordable Orlando real estate – the kind of property favored by people who are buying their homes for the first time – decreased every year in 28 of the country’s biggest metro jurisdictions. These findings came up when the numbers were crunched by Zillow.


All over the US, rents fell a little in May compared to April. It was a reduction of 0.1 percent and the median rent was calculated as $1,310. National rents (year on year basis) increased to 2.3 percent in the previous month (May).

In May, value of homes all over the US increased by 0.1 percent as compared to April and touched $172,300. This marked its consecutive rise in 28 months when considered year over year. In May, the value of homes increased in Orlando by 5.4 percent. This yearly appreciation in values is the slowest when considered for more than one year. Average rate of interest paid by purchasers decreased to touch 4.39 percent in April.


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Median Prices of Orlando Real Estate Rise amidst Higher Inventory

According to an Orlando real estate industry report, the housing inventory for the city saw a 42 percent hike in February, just ahead of the much-awaited spring selling season. The increase in inventory however is not without an increase in median prices of homes – a phenomenon that Orlando Realtors are attributing to increased demands for residential properties in Orlando.

Orlando Real Estate- high inventory – high demand – high median prices

The overall median price of homes in Orlando for February 2014 stood at $158,000 – 18.80 percent higher than the median price during the same time in 2013 when it was $133,000. With the increasing prices, there has also been a rise in the number of non-distressed property owners entering the Orlando real estate market, providing the inventory a much-needed boost.

The nearly 19 percent increase in median price, despite a 42 percent increase in inventory is because desirable homes in Orlando continue to attract multiple buyers. As a result, these homes disappear quickly from the open market, tightening the inventory.

Considering consecutive year-on-year growth rates, the city’s overall median price has increased 36.80 percent in 31 months, registering year-to-year gains throughout the period. Further, the median price for February 2014 was 5.69 percent higher than in January 2014.

According to Orlando short sale realtors, the median prices increased 18.30 percent for short sales and 12.23 percent for “normal” sales. Condos registered a 16.40 percent hike in their median price, compared to February 2013 while single-family homes registered a slightly higher increase of 17.69 percent.

Short Sales, Normal Sales, and Pending

In February 2014, foreclosures and short sales accounted for 34.27 percent of all home sales. Back in 2013, they amounted to 46.01 percent of the total sales. The number of sales closed in February 2014 was 17.26 percent lower than in February 2013; however, the figure exceeded the number of sales closed in January 2014 by 1.48 percent.

Realtors hold that the slower rate of closure is because prospective buyers, especially first-time buyers, had to face the challenges posed by tighter credits, increased rates of mortgages, and higher prices.

Compared to the corresponding value in February 2013, “normal” sales of residential properties saw a 0.72 percent hike in February 2014. The rate of closure for short sales, on the other hand, saw a massive decrease of 63.53 percent and the sales-closing of foreclosed properties decreased by 15.29 percent.

The number of pending sales in February 2014 decreased by 19.72 percent as compared to the same period in 2013. However, it was recorded to be 9.67 percent higher than the number of pending sales in January 2014. Further, the report also found that homes came under contract or closed, faster in 2014 than they did in 2013. Homes typically spent 76 days, listed on the market in February 2014 as against 84 days in February 2013.

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