Four words come to mind when looking to sell a California house — “show me the money.”
There’s no denying that selling a property in California is lucrative. Indeed, the state is home to one of the biggest residential real estate markets in the entire country. So, it makes sense that you would expect a substantial sum for your home.
There’s just one big issue. Selling a house in California can also be expensive. From realtor commission to home improvements, your total expense can quickly build up.
This article explores the average cost of selling a California house. You’ll also discover clever ways to avoid losing money when selling your property.
Let’s jump right in.
The Average Cost to Sell a California House
The average cost of selling a property in California can vary based on your situation.
For example, you could spend 8.9 percent of your home’s final sale price on selling costs. At the same time, real estate agents collect 3 to 7 percent of your California home’s final selling price.
Then there’s the repairs and improvement expense, moving expense, and buyer’s incentive.
What are the Common Expenses for Home Sellers in California?
Here’s the breakdown of some expenses for home sellers in California.
1. Preparing to Sell a California House
Repairs and renovation are one of the most common expenses in home sales. This is especially true for properties that are old or in dreadful condition.
For example, a kitchen remodel can cost up to $28,000 in California. With that said, the cost can vary slightly based on several factors. These include:
- House size and layout
- Yard size and layout
- Repairs with the highest return
- Demand for homes in your neighborhood
Yes, a home improvement expense can quickly build up.
As such, it’s best to contact your realtor when considering a major repair project. That way, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of the cost versus resale value for each project.
2. Realtor Fees
Realtor fees may be the largest cost you’ll face when selling a house in California.
A typical real estate transaction in California involves a real estate agent. These are individuals that handle the sales of your home, providing concierge-style service. They also devise marketing plans to get the most money out of your home sale.
Expectedly, the service isn’t free. According to a report, the average real estate commission in California is 4.92 percent.
Since an average California house is worth $700,800, you would have to pay roughly $34,500 in realtor fees. That’s massive.
3. Buyer Incentives
It’s not uncommon for homebuyers to request incentives or concessions from the home seller.
In such a case, the seller would have to cover the specific cost to alleviate the buyer’s fears or ensure that the deal goes through. Some common buyer incentives include:
- Covering inspection fees
- Repair credit
- Paying the specific closing cost
- Buyer’s home warranty
For instance, seller concession in California could range from $6,000 to over $20,000. Similarly, sellers in the state can offer between $300 to $600 as a buyer’s home warranty.
4. Closing Cost
Besides the real estate commission, the home seller also has to pay what’s known as a closing cost. It’s a blanket term that describes various fees and expenses. For example, some closing costs in California include:
- Title insurance
- Recording fee
- Title fees
- Transfer tax
The closing cost could account for as much as 0.8 percent of your home’s final sale price. That means you could pay over $5,600 on your $700,800 California home.
5. Relocation Expenses
We can’t calculate the expenses for home sellers in California without considering the moving cost. As you may have guessed, this expense can quickly add up based on three primary factors.
- Distance of your move
- How much do you want to DIY
- The number of things you want to move
According to an estimate that’s based on 2-3 bedrooms, moving expenses could cost between $8,000 and $12,000.
The five expenses outlined above bring us back to the original topic.
3 Ways to Avoid Losing Money on a California Home Sale
Here are four ways to avoid losing money on your California home sale.
1. Consider Low Commission Real Estate Agents
As said earlier, real estate agent commission accounts for a massive chunk of your California home sale expense. Luckily, there are ways to cut down on realtor commission.
While you could negotiate the rates, the best option is to find a low-commission real estate agent. That means you only have to pay as low as 1 percent instead of the typical real estate agent commission.
2. Time Your California Home Sale for Maximum Profit
You could make more money on your home sale by selling at the right time. But when is the best time of the year to sell a house in California?
The answer is simple — June. According to Redfin Data Center, you can get up to $21,500 more than the annual average on your California property.
On the other hand, the worst month to sell your California home is July. And that suggests that the demand for homes fizzles out at the end of July.
3. Sell Your California House to a Cash Buyer
One of the smartest ways to save money on your home sale is to sell directly to cash buyers.
That means you won’t have to hire any real estate agent or pay any realtor commission. What’s more, cash buyers don’t require sellers to perform house repairs and improvements. You can sell your house as-is.
In other words, you can save more money on your California home sale by selling to a cash buyer.
Final Thoughts: Sell Your California House for Cash
While selling a California house can be pricey, it can also be profitable.
However, the process begins with understanding the common expenses that come with selling a California home. From there, you only have to negotiate like a pro and time your home sale for maximum profit.
However, your best option might be to sell directly to a California cash buyer.