The hidden costs of selling your home

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Thinking of selling your home or investment property? Before you list your property with a real estate agent, check out these hidden costs of getting your property sold. 
 
According to Medine Simmons from MF Simmons Mortgage Broking, there are numerous costs involved in selling your home, and they fall broadly into three categories: Repairs, Marketing and Styling.
 
Repairs
When you’re selling your home or investment property, it’s easy to get carried away with repairs.
 
“You’re finally getting around to all of those things that you were meaning to get done over the years,” Simmons explains. “The light switch in the bathroom, dimmers in the lounge, painting, re-grouting; the list is endless. These little things can easily turn into thousands of dollars, especially if you’re hiring a handyman to do them.”
 
Simmons says the easiest way to reduce the impact on your wallet is to only pay attention to the repairs that have a visual impact.
 
“Re-grouting gets a big yes, because it makes the bathroom look clean and tidy,” she says. “New carpet gets a big no because you don’t know what taste your purchaser will have, and they may like to do it themselves – and it might put them off if you’ve already made the decision for them. Cross the low impact items off the list, and get only the high impact ones done.”
 
Marketing
You can calculate your real estate agent’s fees for selling your property, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when you’re working out your total selling costs.
 
“Your total costs include the marketing of the property,” Simmons says. “That means you need to allow for a signboard, internet and flyer advertisements and all that they entail – such as getting professional photos, copywriting and floor plan drawings – plus newspaper and local paper classifieds, and photos in lifestyle magazines.”
 
All of this can “easily add up to $5,000, or much more if you go for the Rolls Royce options”, she says. These costs are usually taken out of the final sale price, so you won’t need to find the money upfront.
 
Styling
Whether you do it yourself or get a professional stylist in to boost the sale price potential, styling is another important and potentially huge cost to factor in before selling.
 
“Most stylists, or your real estate agent, will advise you to de-clutter to create a sleek sense of space and clean appearance,” Simmons says.
 
“It’s a great opportunity to refresh and downsize and throw things out, however, it’s going to cost you time and money.”
 
You’ll need to allow time to sort through things and once you’ve sorted your belongings, you might need to hire a skip for rubbish or a trailer for trips to the tip.
 
If you don’t want to throw things out, then you’ll need packing boxes, a storage facility, and possibly someone to move things for you.
 
“You might also plan a garage sale, in which case you need to advertise in the local paper or to prepare and distribute flyers, and then spend the day manning your goods for sale,” Simmons says.
 
At the end of the day, the more prepared you are, the smoother the process and the less expenses you will incur.
 
“It all comes down to clear thinking and a few calculations, to make sure the cost of selling isn’t eating too far into your well-earned capital,” Simmons says.
 

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