When buying or selling a  home, there are lots of costs and expenses to take into consideration. Most think of the obvious – such as the price of the property and moving costs – but there are lots of other expenses you’ll need to budget for, so it’s important that you learn about these costs so you can go into the home buying and selling process with a realistic, informed perspective.

Most buyers and sellers focus on the obvious, such as the cost of the property, the cost of hiring a mover and the realtor’s commission, which is typically paid by the seller (although if you’re selling your home before buying a new property, you’ll be the seller in that transaction and therefore, you must consider the Realtor’s commission when crunching the numbers.) But these expenses are just the tip of the iceberg, so it’s important to budget and plan accordingly.

Closing Costs

Closing costs are fees that are paid at the time when you close on a real estate transaction.

The precise amount that’s paid at closing does vary according to a number of factors, including home sale price and whether the buyer and seller are splitting the costs.

Inspection

It’s customary to hire an inspector to perform a thorough inspection of the property, so you can identify any less-than-obvious problem areas that may impact the sale price or the terms and conditions of the sale.

A home inspection is especially important on older properties, which are more likely to be affected by serious issues, such as a leaking roof that has led to water damage and mold, an ailing foundation or even structural faults.

Moving Expenses

Moving can be quite costly, especially if you’re traveling a significant distance, so it’s important to be realistic in calculating these costs.

Most focus on the actual cost of hiring a moving truck and movers, but there is also the matter of packing your belongings. Packing materials can be quite costly; the same is true for packing services if you opt to hire a company to tend to the packing process on your behalf.

Also, remember to consider the cost of insurance for your move. Moving insurance is a wise investment and it’s not always included as part of your homeowner’s insurance policy or your moving service fee.

Escrow

Escrow entails a third party who places the funds for the home sale into a secure account and then disperses those funds in accordance with the terms of the purchase and sale. In Connecticut, an attorney will oversee escrow, while in other states, an escrow officer may be designated to tend to this process.

Whatever the case, there is often a fee associated with escrow, though the exact price may vary according to factors such as the complexity of the transaction and the sale price. In some states, there may be no stand alone fee associated with escrow; it may be included with other fees.

Small Expenses

When buying or selling a home, there are lots of miscellaneous small ticket items that you’ll need to pay for and when combined, they can account for a rather significant chunk of change. Therefore, it’s important to budget accordingly.

Some of the small, miscellaneous expenses can vary by location, but they generally include:

• Home appraisal fee (typically conducted prior to getting a home loan)

• Title services and title insurance

• Deed, mortgage and loan recording fees

• Lender’s origination fees (the fee for processing the home loan)

• Document preparation and notarization

• Tax service fees (to ensure property taxes are up to date. Not every region has this fee.)

There are also some different steps involved when going through a short sale versus a traditional real estate transaction. But your real estate professional can work with you to provide you with general information on the overall process and what to expect. It’s yet another benefit of working with an expert like Kristine Zelazo as you navigate a short sale, or the home buying or home selling process.

If you’re seeking to sell your home today or wish to pursue a short sale, contact Kristine Zelazo, the Short Sale Gal. Call 800.664.0616, x802.

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