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Selling A Home Can Be More Costly Than You Think; 5 Ways To Help You Sell Faster

The report shows Black American homeowners generally spend nearly $48,000 to sell a home.

Black Americans reported spending $47,953 to sell their homes since 2022, including this year. On average, these sellers might have sold their homes for an additional $50,000 if they had used different strategies, according to a recent report by Clever Real Estate.

The survey questioned 1,014 Americans who sold a home between 2022 and 2024, including 91 Black Americans, to gather insights on the home-selling process and associated costs. The survey was conducted in May 2024.

Jaime Seale, the report’s author, provided BLACK ENTERPRISE a breakdown of many discoveries related to Black Americans.  According to Seale, the typical homeowner in 2024 spent roughly $54,616 to sell, with 42% stating the cost was higher than expected.

For Black sellers, 95% reported they would have made different decisions when selling their home if they had known the true costs involved. Many believe they could have achieved a higher profit through various strategies. These include waiting for more offers (30%), accepting a different offer (27%), negotiating more with the buyer (26%), listing the home at a higher price (24%), and negotiating the commission with their agent (22%).

“When their homes hit the market, most sellers are so preoccupied with how much they hope to earn; they forget selling a home costs money, too — and quite a lot.”

Seale shared that high home-selling costs including commission eating away at profits, the earnings are much slimmer than a few years ago. As such, she noted that 34% of Black sellers said they would have waited to sell until home prices rose.

“Despite a less favorable market, we found that sellers still think they could have made a hefty profit if only they had taken a few cost-cutting measures,” she said.

The uplifting news is that 73% of Black sellers made a profit, earning a median amount of $111,500. That was higher than the median profit of $100,000 for about 64% of sellers. Searle indicated that Black sellers who used an agent and made a profit sold their homes for $30,500 more than those who made a profit and did not use an agent.

At the same time, the largest expense for home sellers is typically a real estate agent commission. Under the commission model now, Searle explained sellers are responsible for paying about 5% to 6% of the final home sale price — split evenly between the buyer’s and seller’s agents. On the median-priced home, she says that can add up to $21,600.

She stressed most expenses, including price reductions and making repairs, are tied to selling a home and are lower for Black Americans than for overall respondents. “The typical value of U.S. homes with Black owners is 18% less than the typical value of homes with White owners,” according to the report.

Cutting home-selling expenses can depend on a seller’s priorities and the tradeoffs they are willing to endure. Seale says seekers who prioritize selling quickly may want to invest in repairs that will make their home more attractive and bring in more buyers, but they don’t have to spend money on repairs if they would rather save money and aren’t in a hurry to sell their home.

Though they could boost home-selling expenses, Seale offered five ways homeowners may do well to consider to sell faster:

  1. Stage your home to highlight its best features and help buyers imagine themselves living there.
  2. Hire a professional photographer. “Because most buyers start their home search online, photos that show your home with the best light and angles will make a good first impression,” Seale advised.
  3. Work with an experienced real estate agent to set a competitive price. Overpricing can deter buyers and extend the sale process, while underpricing may lead to lost potential earnings.
  4. “Offer buyer concessions, such as paying some of their closing costs. This will widen the pool of buyers, especially those struggling with housing affordability,” Seale notes.
  5. If you don’t want to make concessions, iBuyer or We Buy Houses companies make fast offers; however most pay well below market value for homes.

Seale says sellers may be willing to accept the extra expense depending on their circumstances, including if they need to sell quickly or relocate for a job, for example.

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