A house is one of the most significant investments you’ll make in your entire life. When you’re buying, you’re bound to be very cost-conscious and want to know exactly where your money is going so you can get the best home for the best price. But the same is true when it comes to selling your home.
Selling a house isn’t free. When you get to the closing table, you can’t expect to pocket every last dime of the agreed-upon sale price. To understand all of the costs that will impact your bottom line, real estate agents use what’s called a seller’s net sheet.
A seller’s net sheet is a document that estimates the total amount of fees and expenses related to selling your home, thereby showing the amount you can expect to walk away with after the sale.
No two home sales are the same so you can’t simply estimate the costs using a set percentile. This sheet is typically filled out by the listing agent and gives you clear insight into what those costs will be for your specific situation. Between commissions, closing costs, the final mortgage payment, and other miscellaneous items, the seller’s net sheet helps you keep track of everything you’ll end up spending.
While a seller’s net sheet isn’t essential, most listing agents offer to do it - especially if a seller wants to use the sale proceeds to fund their next home purchase. (Learn more about how to sell and buy houses at the same time.) If you’re paying an agent, there’s no reason not to accept this service.
A seller’s net sheet gives you a reasonable estimate of how much you’ll profit (or lose) in a home sale. That’s a crucial bit of information for your financial well-being since a home sale is the most significant financial transaction most people will make in their lives.
Different agents may prepare seller’s net sheets in different ways, but generally they include:
The most important part of the seller’s net sheet is the expected sales price or purchase price of the home. There are online services that will help you calculate the rest of the sheet by changing the sales price, and some agents may give you Excel or Google Sheets to update information yourself.
Real estate agent fees tend to be the most significant cost to sellers, though it’s often worth it since it saves you the trouble of selling on your own. Usually, you’ll pay 6% of the sale price of your house to the buying and selling real estate agents.
The most variable portion of the seller’s net sheet is how much you still owe to your mortgage lender if you haven't paid off your home loan. (Some people may even have a second mortgage to pay off.) It’s also probably the most significant expense. You’ll have to contact your lender and request a payoff statement to know the best value to input.
Different states have different real estate fees, including municipal fees and county or state-level transfer taxes. Some states don’t charge anything at all. Your agent should be able to provide some insight as to what you can expect to pay.
It’s a good idea to have an attorney present during negotiations and at closing to help you avoid any legal pitfalls. That said, if you don’t have a real estate attorney, most title companies will contract one at your expense.
There are myriad closing costs and fees in a real estate transaction, which should be itemized as well as possible on a seller’s net sheet. Things like property taxes, home warranties, appraisal repairs, new owner's title insurance, and wire transaction fees can all add up. Sometimes, sellers must cover some buyer closing costs to facilitate a sale.
While the buyer typically pays for the general home inspection, but buyer may compel a seller to make needed repairs. This isn’t the easiest number to predict so it’s better to overestimate rather than underestimate the cost of seller concessions.
Homeowners may also choose to get any number of other inspections, which they'll have to pay for on their own. For example, you can get a pre-listing inspection, or a hire a specialized inspector to test air quality, mold, or a well if you have one on your property.
If you’re selling a home in a Homeowners Association, you will incur fees from the organization. Most HOAs force you to order an HOA packet containing the information about the association on behalf of the buyer. The HOA will also inspect your home and may charge you for repairs it deems necessary.
You don’t need an official seller’s net sheet to start estimating the costs yourself with one of the many online calculators available. Otherwise, a listing agent will most likely provide a seller’s net sheet before listing the home on the market.
The seller’s net sheet changes over time, so a good listing agent will provide an updated seller’s net sheet at different stages of the process. You should get one when you:
At closing, you’ll also receive a separate document called the seller’s closing statement or closing disclosure that has an itemized list of fees and credits to show your official net profits.
It’s natural to know how much money you’re going to make from selling your house. It might even be imperative if you’re using those proceeds for your next home purchase. A seller’s net sheet estimates those costs and gives you an updated idea of exactly how much you stand to make.
When you list with Orchard, we’ll get your home show-ready and make repairs to increase your home’s value at no upfront cost.
Orchard guarantees your home will sell, so you can buy your next one worry-free.
We provide peace of mind that your home will sell, plus list your home on the market to maximize your earnings.
Use our home sale calculator to estimate your net proceeds.
Our Home Advisors are experienced local agents who know how to sell for top dollar and help win your dream home.
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