How Much Does it Cost to Sell Your Home with a Realtor in Pennsylvania?

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Things to Consider When Selling Your Home FSBO (for sale by owner)

So you may be wondering how much does it cost to sell a house in Pittsburgh or the surrounding areas. Can you save money selling your house without a real estate agent? The answer depends. Several factors determine how much you will end up netting after selling your home in Allegheny, Butler or Lawrence county. 

It can be complicated so, before I dig further into this topic, you can save yourself some time by giving us a call at 724-923-9382. I would be happy to discuss the cost of selling your home with you and answer any of your questions directly. Just mention that you saw our blog post on the cost of selling a home in Western PA. I will ask you a few questions and calculate a rough estimate on how much you could net selling your home.

This article is to be used as a tool to help you estimate the most common closing costs. Actual costs may vary based on the sales price, closing companies, agent commissions and negotiations with the lender and others involved in the transaction.

As a part of the offer, the seller may agree to pay part of the buyer's fees. Again, this is something that can be negotiated. We often call this seller's assistance. Depending on the type of loan the buyer is using to finance the home, there are limits to how much the seller can contribute to the closing costs to help the buyer. 

In Pennsylvania, as in just about every other state; there is much more to a real estate transaction than finding a buyer, collecting payment and handing over the keys. For sale by owner sounds fun, but it can be a complicated and costly endeavor if you do not research the ins and outs of selling a home. 

You should at least consult with a licensed PA real estate agent to help determine the not only the costs involved with selling your home but also, legal issues that may need to be addressed such as disclosure, negotiation and the agency relationship between an agent that may be representing the buyer and yourself. 

You see, most buyers are represented by real estate agents and brokers. The National Association of Realtors estimates that only 5% of home buyers complete the transaction without the help of an agent. So keep in mind that the buyers' agent's job is to negotiate against you. They have a fiduciary duty to the buyer and will always be working in the best interest of the buyer. Also, it is customary that the seller pays for the buyer's agent. 

How much are Commissions to the Real Estate Agent?

When you hire a real estate agent in Pennsylvania to sell your home, the commission you pay to that agent is usually shared with the buyer's agent. 

Let's say we list your home at $200k and agree that the listing fee is going to be 6% or $12k. Out of the $12k, we will often pay half of that commission to the other real estate agent who brings the buyer. 
So in reality, by not using a real estate agent you may only be saving about 3% of the sales price. Even if you sell the house without the help of an agent to represent you, in Pennsylvania, the seller typically pays the commission to the listing agent and the buyer's agent. Commissions are negotiable in Pennsylvania. 

You never want to choose an agent based on how much commission they charge. Think about it...if an agent only knows how to win your listing by lowering their commission, they are not great negotiators. How do you think they will negotiate the price of your home when it's time to sell? You want an agent that is a strong negotiator and willing to market your home properly to bring in multiple offers and negotiate firmly on your behalf. 

Other Fees - Selling Your Western PA Home

The appraisal fee - Typically the appraisal fee is between $400-$500. Things that may affect this amount are the size of the home, negotiations with the lender and credits the lender may give you. The appraisal fee is usually paid before closing, so this is an out of pocket cost in addition to other closing costs. 

Does the buyer attend the appraisal? 
In my experience, the buyer does not usually attend the appraisal. The buyer is entitled to if they choose, but it is not necessary. Also, the seller should not get in the way of the appraiser. If you are selling your home, just let them get through the process without interruption unless they have a specific question for you.

Officially selling your home happens at the closing table. During this time, it can be very stressful. There are hundreds of pages of documents that need to be reviewed, signed and inspected for mistakes. Having a real estate agent on your side puts an extra set of eyeballs on these very important documents and helps to ensure that you receive all of the money you are entitled to at closing. If you choose to go at it alone, make sure you take the time to understand all of the documents you are signing or better yet, hire an attorney to help.

Some of the fees you may see on the final ALTA are
City/town taxes, proration of taxes, broker admin fees, various settlement charges, transfer taxes, and additional agent fees. Navigating these can be a challenge. Please do yourself a favor and give us a call if you are selling your home in Cranberry Township, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence or Allegheny Counties. You don't have to go at this alone. Let me show you how my team can net you more money with less stress than selling your home for sale by owner. Call me 724-923-9382 - David Carter, Realtor Pittsburgh, PA. 

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