Selling Your House On Your Own Or With A Realtor: What Are The Costs?

It’s no secret that selling a home can be expensive. Between the realtor fees, closing costs, and repairs that need to be made before you put your house on the market, it’s easy to see how the cost of selling a house can add up quickly. But what if you could sell your home without paying any of those fees? Or what if you could pay a fraction of the cost by selling your house on your own?


In this blog post, we’ll explore the costs associated with selling your house on your own or with a realtor. We’ll also look at the best way to eliminate those costs altogether. So whether you’re thinking about selling your house on your own or working with a realtor, read on for more information about the costs involved in each option!


Standard Costs of Hiring A Real Estate Agent To Sell Your House

The Cost of Real Estate Commissions

With the value of real estate constantly rising, it’s important to know just how much you can expect from your agent. Let’s say that your house sells for $300K with a 6% commission. Your real estate agent fee would come out to $18k! This may not seem like a lot but when you factor in closing costs, repairs, and other expenses related to the sale of your home, it adds up quickly!


Here’s the thing about real estate commissions…even when you try to sell your house on your own, buyers normally already have a realtor and that realtor still wants to get paid. They will either steer them away from your house or ask the buyer or you to pay their commission. In this type of situation, the real estate agent can create some costly roadblocks for you as the seller.

Closing Costs

Home sellers should be prepared for all of the costs they will incur at their closing table. These are deducted from sale prices and add up fast!


Closing costs can vary depending on the property and type of transaction. When you work with an agent to sell your house, expect about 2% of its final sale price in closing expenses like transfer taxes, escrow fees, and recording fees (but not including real estate commissions). But if Capstone Homebuyers buys direct from owner-occupants like yourself we’ll take on those expenses.

Inspection Related Repairs

When selling your house, inspection items should be expected.  If an ispection uncovers too many problems or major issues, there will likely have a repair request amendment.  Again, this is standard and should be expected. Almost without exception, most sellers have to do some inspection-related home repairs during the option period of a contract. Repairs that have been neglected for long periods of time, can have repair costs that are fairly substantial and add up quickly. A new roof, for example, can set you back by as much as $20,000. Additionally, some lenders require certain repairs to be made before they will lend on the house. 

Unexpected Costs Of Selling Your House With A Realtor

Additional Marketing

It’s important to know what your real estate agent is going to do for you beforehand. Some agents provide full service and will market the property in several ways, at no cost whatsoever; other agents leave the marketing up to you. Even full-service agents often require you to pay for things such as professional photographs, staging, and cleaning.

Staging Your Home

Perhaps the most important thing to do when you’re selling a home is to make sure that it looks its best. This means investing in some professional staging services so your property will appeal not only in pictures but also to potential homeowners who are looking in person too. Having tenants in the property when selling is not a substitution for proper staging.

Failed Contracts

A failed contract is when the prospective buyer backs out. This could be due to repairs, issues with the lender, not qualifying for their loan, or they just changed their mind. According to CNBC, 20-25 percent of all accepted contracts end up failing prior to closing. This can even happen with the national ibuyers as well which can leave you as the seller in a tough spot.

Lender required repairs

Sometimes when you are selling your house to a buyer who is using a loan to buy your house, the appraiser will note some repairs that need to be made. These will then become lender-required repairs. These are separate from inspection-related repairs and can increase your repair costs because they are required to be made before the buyer’s loan can get approved.

Costs Of Selling Your House On Your Own


Landscaping is the most important thing to improve curb appeal, and it normally costs about $3K. Every outdoor space should feel inviting even when there are no people around- which means you can enjoy spending time outside. This is an area where people can get creative but it is often hit or miss so make sure and plan carefully with the buyer in mind.

Professional Pictures

This is something that is overlooked even by many real estate agents.  Don’t make this rookie mistake. This is one time when the great iPhone cameras just won’t cut it. Oh, and your neighbor Bob who is an amateur photographer won’t cut it either. Sure professional real estate photography isn’t cheap, however, it IS very valuable. Skip this cost at your own risk.

Utilities and Holding Costs

Even if you’ve already moved out for your upcoming sale, you can’t just cancel CPS in the home. Can you imagine falling in love with a house that feels more like a sauna as you walk through? Us either. Additionally, you will not want to cancel your account with SAWS. Water will still need to be used for proper lawn care and to keep the toilets operational. If the house is one you’ve been living in, then you already know what it will cost you to keep the utilities on.

Underestimating The True Value Of Your Home

If you aren’t using a licensed Realtor and you aren’t selling to a professional homebuyer, you could be missing out on potential value when you sell your house in a private sale. For instance, professional homebuyers are used to giving competitive offers because they know the market and know the competition is fierce. Realtors are also trained to estimate values based on comparable sales and are required to have your best interests as their primary focus.

Unexpected Costs Of Selling A House Without An Agent

Not Knowing Real Values

Understanding the demographic of buyers and renters in your area will help you market accordingly. For example, families looking for something different than college students or young singles might be interested in houses near yours. Having a good handle on who is buying can make it easier when deciding how to reach them with ads! Take some time today (or tonight!)to understand what each group wants so that everyone has an opportunity to see that your house would be a good fit for them!

Lack of Negotiating Strategy

You might be the type of person who can read people well and has a knack for negotiating. Maybe you’ve even taken a few business courses. But, do you know what to say when it comes to real estate negotiations?


Do you know how to properly value your home so that you’re getting top dollar without leaving too much on the table? How will you respond to a counter offer or other types of concessions requests?


Having a strategy for how you will sell your house quickly is important. If you want to skip the back and forth, you might want to deal with a straightforward home buyer who will give you their best cash offer the first time without uncomfortable and drawn out negotiations.


Costs Of Selling Your House To A Direct Buyer On Your Own

The costs of selling your house to a local home buying company like Capstone Homebuyers is usually very small and packed with benefits.  Here are the most common costs when selling for cash:

Pro-rated property taxes

Pro-rated property taxes can reduce your net proceeds when you sell your house because you will be giving the buyer a credit for any unpaid taxes up the the day when the sale closes and is finalized.

Prior liens and judgments

Any prior liens or judgements that have attached themselves to the house or to the current homeowner will have to be paid before the transaction can close. Unless specifically negotiated, these fees would come from the seller of the property.

Sell Your House Fast For Cash To A Direct Buyer

Selling your house is a big decision and can be a costly and risky process. 


It’s hard to know who to trust when selling your house. You might have to make costly repairs before selling, pay commissions and fees, or take on the risk of selling on your own. 


Capstone Homebuyers offers an easy, no-risk solution. We give you our best offer upfront, pay all closing costs, and don’t charge commissions or fees. We buy houses as-is so you don’t have to make any costly repairs before selling.

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