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Know How to Budget; Tips from a Realtor

Know How to Budget; Tips from a Realtor

What are the most common expenses homeowners should include in their budget when selling their home? A professional real estate agent helps homeowners plan the best way to spend their allowance throughout the selling process.

Some homeowners try to sell on their own because they want to avoid paying a realtor’s commission fee. But in the long run, FSBO may incur so many costs that the homeowner ends up paying more than those commission fees. Take a look at these four budget tips from a realtor that can prevent homeowners from paying more than they need to.

Fixing the Home

Real estate agents know how to make a home sell fast and for the greatest profit, and this includes fixing the home for viewings. Your realtor can show you how to include these costs in your selling budget so you’re not surprised by expenses further into the selling process.

Your agent will walk you through your home to point out things that may need to be fixed before the home will sell. (Older homes especially need this walk-through as they may need some serious upgrades or home improvements.) Unpainted rooms, unattractive landscaping, leaky toilets or other plumbing issues are all factors that can affect the selling price. Your realtor will point out the most necessary tasks. Depending on the condition of your home, these expenses can range from the hundreds to the thousands.

Sometimes the homeowner receives a contingency offer; the buyer will purchase the house only if certain conditions are met. One of the most common is the home inspection contingency offer. The buyer wants certain things around the home to be fixed before the sale is considered official. Depending on what the buyer wants fixed, the homeowner might pay only minimal cost. However, if the fix-it contingency is something like getting the roof replaced or having a pest remediation, it could be much more expensive. Your realtor can help you budget accordingly.


Your agent knows how to properly stage a home to show it in its best possible light. He or she will direct you how to declutter each room, maybe even eliminate some unnecessary items by either selling them or putting them in storage.

Some homeowners hire their own professional stager, but they can pay anywhere from $500-$5,000 depending on what’s included in the agreement. Some agents, however, offer free home staging or find a professional designer themselves. Always ask what your agent includes during the interviewing process.


Marketing your home is critical if you want to get the best possible price for it as quickly as possible. The cost to market your property is usually included in your realtor’s commission. He or she will ensure your property is listed on home selling sites, such as Multiple Listing Service (MLS), classifieds, and other real estate websites. These listings can cost a couple hundred or thousands depending on what sites you are using.

Prospective buyers expect to see great photos and images of properties when they view listings. Realtors will use professional photography or videography to display your home the most attractively on all sites. If your budget allows, you can also have a website designed to showcase your property. Your agent can show you how to do this and will help you consider if a website is a wise additional expense.

Closing Costs

Typical closing expenses for home sellers include the abstract and title search, instrument survey, real estate commissions, and transfer taxes, which are also known as revenue stamps. Real estate agents will walk you through these fees so you understand ahead of time exactly what you will be paying for.


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