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BAM Key Details: 

  • According to a recent survey by Clever Real Estate, the average homeowner spends $54,156 to sell their home. And 42% of the homeowners responding to the survey say the home-selling costs were higher than they expected. 
  • Among sellers who did not hire a real estate agent, 59% made that choice to save money. But sellers who did use an agent made an average of $34,000 more on the sale of their home than those who did not. 

The cost of buying a home has been getting loads of attention lately. But this time around, we’re focusing on the cost of selling one. 

According to a recent survey, the typical homeowner spends an average of $54,616 in home-selling costs. 

Clever Real Estate surveyed 1,000 Americans who have sold a home since 2022. And among them, 42% said the cost of doing so was higher than they expected. 

With those higher-than-anticipated selling costs cutting into profits, 89% of those recent sellers have regrets. This is despite the fact that the median profit of those surveyed was $100,000. 

Nearly nine out of ten say they would have made different choices had they known the true cost of selling their home. That alone presents an opportunity for agents to step up and fill a knowledge gap that so often results in regret and resentment. 

The most common regrets cited in the survey include: 

  1. Selling too quickly (30%)
  2. Missing their old home (29%)
  3. Not selling for enough money (28%)

The first and third of those may have been avoided with an agent who was a capable negotiator and a knowledgeable guide focused on delivering the best possible client experience with results that exceeded the seller’s expectations. 

Some sellers chose not to hire an agent, and 59% of these went the DIY route to cut costs, hoping to make a larger profit. 

That’s what makes the next statistic so interesting… 

Because sellers who did use an agent sold their home for roughly $34,000 more, on average, than those who did not. 

Homeowners are spending nearly $55,000 on home-selling costs

Since 2022, U.S. homeowners have spent a median amount of $54,616 in costs associated with selling their home. 

Actual costs varied by seller, but in general, they spent the following amount per expense category: 

  • Listing agent commission on the median-priced home: $11,136 
  • Buyer’s agent commission on the median-priced home: $10,467 
  • Pre- and post-listing repairs, improvements, and renovations: $10,000
  • Closing costs: $8,000
  • Concessions to the buyer: $7,200
  • Moving costs: $3,250
  • Marketing: $2,300
  • Staging: $2,263

Sellers spent nearly $22K on Realtor commission fees

Based on the above, sellers spend almost $22,000 total in commission fees for the listing agent and the buyer agent. 

And to avoid that cost, some sellers decided to sell their home without hiring an agent. But while their intent was to save money, they ran into other costs that eroded the savings they had originally hoped for. Sellers who went the DIY route saved only $4,200 in home-selling costs, on average, compared to those who hired an agent. 

Adding insult to injury, unrepresented home sellers missed out on even bigger sale profits compared to sellers with agents, who sold their homes for $34,000 more, on average. 

Aside from the prospect of monetary savings, other reasons homeowners decided not to hire an agent include: 

  • “They thought it would be more convenient” (58%) 
  • “They thought it would be faster” (57%)
  • “They wanted to handle their own showings and negotiations” (57%)

While selling a home without a real estate agent is certainly possible, it comes with unexpected costs, not the least of which is the confusion and inevitable mistakes involved in navigating an already complicated process. 

Among unrepresented sellers responding to the survey—  

  • Nearly half (about 46%) made legal mistakes during their home sale
  • 43% said buyers didn’t trust them
  • Over half (54%) said they regretted not using an agent

Nearly 9 in 10 homeowners have regrets about their home sale

Roughly 89% of home sellers have regrets—including 92% of those who sold without a real estate agent. 

Though many of the surveyed homeowners prioritized a fast sale, selling too fast became the most common regret, with 30% of those surveyed expressing regret about their overly expedient home sale—mainly because their homes sold for less than they had hoped. 

A brisk sale has its advantages for sellers whose need to move outweighs the need to maximize their profits. This is one of the reasons some folks choose to work with an iBuyer or another company that buys homes for cash. 

But those cash offers are generally well below market value. 

Overall, 28% of homeowners regret leaving money on the table—which leads to other regrets: 

  • Failing to make enough pre-listing repairs (26%)
  • Making too many concessions (26%)
  • Failing to stage the home (25%) 

Any one of the above could have resulted in a higher sale price. 

Sellers also expressed regrets not related to their final sale price: 

  • “They miss their old home” (29%)
  • “They sold without a real estate agent” (23%)
  • “Their home sat on the market too long” (23%)
  • “They waited too long to list the home” (22%)
  • “They were pressured to accept an offer” (22%)
  • “Realtor commission was too high” (21%)

Nearly 90% of sellers would do something differently

The cost of selling a home is not as transparent as it could be, which could explain (at least in part) why some homeowners choose the DIY route. 

About 67% of first-time home sellers admit they were surprised by how much it cost to sell their home. And those with no foreknowledge of the costs involved were more likely to express regret. 

That said, even among those who had previously sold a home, more than half (58%) are still surprised by the amount they spent. 

According to the survey, had homeowners known about the cost of selling their home, nearly nine out of ten (89%) would have made different choices. 

More than a third would have— 

  • Listed their home for a higher amount (36%)
  • Waited for more offers (35%)
  • Negotiated more with the buyer (32%)
  • Waited to sell until home prices increase (31%)
  • Negotiated commission with their agent (31%)

Judging by a recent Instagram green screen video by real estate entrepreneur, speaker and coach Jared James, seems like it would be better to replace that last one with “Found an agent who could negotiate the best possible deal for me.” 

And that most likely won’t be the agent who accepts a lower commission than they’re worth. 

Read the full report for more details.