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What It REALLY Costs To Sell Your Home in COLUMBIA

Listing your home isn’t free. There are costs, chores and a lot of work that goes into getting your home ready for the market. Before you list your home, think about the time, energy and money that go into it. If you have a direct buyer, with a great offer, it is often preferred to the hassle and out of pocket costs of listing. What it REALLY costs to sell your home in COLUMBIA.

Commissions, Staging & Yard Work, Oh My!


First thing is first. The home has to be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom. Windows should be done inside and out, grout and tile cleaned, baseboards and molding, and all of the obscure areas such as window sills and ceiling fans. If you have pets, pay particularly close attention to pet hair and odors. Of course, you can clean yourself, but you will not be able to do it with the accuracy and efficiency of a pro. In addition, keeping the home clean for showings, open houses and surprise visitors can take a lot of time and energy. The first step in preparing your home for sale is to ensure it is thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom. This means addressing every corner of your living space, from the windows, which should be spotless both inside and out, to the grout and tile, which require meticulous scrubbing to look their best. Pay attention to baseboards and molding, as well as often-overlooked areas such as window sills and ceiling fans, which can accumulate dust and grime over time. If you have pets, it is crucial to focus on eliminating pet hair and odors, as these can be particularly off-putting to potential buyers. While it is possible to handle this cleaning yourself, professional cleaners bring a level of accuracy and efficiency that is hard to match. Moreover, maintaining this high standard of cleanliness for showings, open houses, and unexpected visitors demands significant time and energy. Therefore, enlisting professional help can ensure your home remains in pristine condition throughout the selling process.


Never, ever, ever neglect the yard when selling your home. Your will want to make sure your yard had excellent curb appeal and isn’t overgrown or filled with weeds. Just like the cleaning, you can do this yourself, but you will have some hard work ahead of you. You will want to:

  • Trim back trees and bushes.
  • Weed the lawn and open areas.
  • Plant flowers and appropriate plants.
  • Fix anything in need of repair.
  • Add fresh paint to outdoor trim, mailbox, door, etc.
  • Add seating and other elements of staging to make the outside areas more welcoming

The backyard should be warm, inviting, and well-manicured. The front yard is your first impression, make it a good one!

Never, ever, neglect the yard when selling your home. Ensuring your yard has excellent curb appeal is essential; it should never be overgrown or filled with weeds. Similar to cleaning the interior of your home, yard maintenance can be done yourself, but be prepared for some hard work. Here are key tasks to focus on: trim back trees and bushes to keep them neat and healthy, weed the lawn and any open areas to prevent unsightly patches, and plant flowers and other appropriate plants to add color and vibrancy. Additionally, fix anything in need of repair to ensure everything is in top condition. Adding fresh paint to the outdoor trim, the mailbox, and the door can significantly enhance the overall appearance. Consider adding seating and other elements of staging to make the outside areas more welcoming and appealing.

The backyard should be warm, inviting, and well-manicured, creating a space where potential buyers can envision themselves relaxing and entertaining. The front yard, on the other hand, serves as the first impression of your home, so make sure it is an excellent one. With a well-maintained yard, you set a positive tone for the entire property, making it more attractive to prospective buyers.

Storage & Moving

Even if you are still living in the home, once you put it on the market, it is smart to get some of your personal items packed and stored, ready for your move. Having your personal items around the home can make it feel cluttered and dissuade buyers from having interest. While your home is listed, you will need somewhere to keep your stuff. This might require storage offsite. If you are staying somewhere temporarily until your house sells, you will likely be paying rent in addition to your mortgage. (And don’t forget, two sets of utility bills.)

Once your house does sell, there are the costs of moving. Will you have movers help? Will you do all the packing yourself? Will you need a truck? These are all costs to consider and factor into your budget.

However, storing your belongings during this time requires planning and possibly additional expenses. You may need to rent a storage unit offsite to keep your items organized and out of sight. If you’re temporarily relocating until your home sells, you’ll likely incur additional expenses such as rent for your temporary accommodation, on top of your mortgage payments and utility bills for both locations.

Moreover, once your home sells, you’ll need to budget for the costs associated with moving. Will you hire professional movers to assist you, or will you handle all the packing and moving yourself? Will you require a moving truck or other transportation? These are essential considerations that will impact your budget and should be factored into your financial planning. Moving expenses can add up quickly, so it’s crucial to budget accordingly to avoid any unexpected financial strain during this transition period.

Listing Fees, Agent Fees, Administrative Fees, and Notary Charges

Working with an agent also brings a plethora of fees and charges you may not be prepared for. (These charges are IN ADDITION to the commission, which we talk about below.) Agents will pass on a number of fees to you for marketing, listing, and administrative tasks such as clerical work and printing. You will face costs for notarization and other small charges that add up fast.

Real estate agents may pass on charges related to marketing and listing your property. This could include expenses for professional photography, staging services, virtual tours, and advertising placements to attract potential buyers. Additionally, there may be administrative fees covering clerical work, paperwork processing, and printing of materials related to the sale.

Moreover, there are often miscellaneous charges that can accumulate quickly, such as fees for notarization, document processing, and other small administrative tasks. While individually these fees may seem insignificant, they can add up fast, especially when combined with other expenses associated with selling a home.

Therefore, it’s essential for sellers to have a clear understanding of the potential fees and charges they may encounter when working with a real estate agent. This knowledge allows sellers to budget accordingly and avoid any surprises during the selling process. It’s advisable to discuss these fees upfront with your agent to ensure transparency and clarity regarding the costs involved in selling your home.


This is the biggie. Selling your home through an agent entitles them to a commission. Think 6% of your sale price. This can be more or less, but 6% is a good estimation. When you are calculating your asking price, make sure you factor in commissions as well as the other charges listed above.

There is an alternative way to sell your COLUMBIA home for a great price! Send us a message and we will be in touch! Or give our office a call today! 803-670-8355

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