3 Hidden Home Selling Costs

home selling costs

Believe it or not, selling a home can cost you money. It’s not as simple as just putting a for-sale sign in your yard. If you want to sell your home as quickly as possible, hire a real estate agent who can help you navigate the home-selling market and find motivated buyers.

You may need to invest some money into repairs and upgrades where needed. But a Realtor and home improvements aren’t the only expenses associated with selling a house. The following are three hidden home selling costs you may not have known about:

  1. Appraisal: You can use comps within your neighborhood to help determine the value of the house, but you’ll get a more accurate assessment of what to ask your home is appraised by a professional. Independent appraisals cost between $350 and $500.
  2. Survey: If you own an older home in an older neighborhood (and/or your home is in a rural area surrounded by natural elements), you’ll need to schedule a survey. A land surveyor will determine the property lines so you know exactly how large your land is and exactly what you’re selling. A land survey can cost from $250 to $1,000.
  3. Vacant house insurance: If you’re not living in the house, you’ll want to purchase vacant house insurance. This protects you financially if your house is vandalized. Expect to pay upwards of a few hundred a month.

There are a lot of different costs associated with selling a house. Although you may be aware of most of them, there are often hidden home selling costs.

For more home selling advice, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

Should I Buy a Home With Lead Paint?

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Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon to use lead paint. Lead was used because it allowed the paint to dry faster and resist moisture; however, once it was discovered that exposure to lead paint could result in long-term negative health effects it was banned in 1978. Although you won’t find any homes constructed after 1978 with lead-based paint, older homes may still have it.

Should you buy an older home if lead-based paint was used?

You Can Remove Lead Paint

Sellers are required to inform you if they know that lead-based paint was used in their homes. If they don’t know and you’re buying a house built before 1978, then they should give you ten days to have a professional test the property for lead paint. It’s worth noting that sellers are not required to test for lead-based paint themselves.

If you have children, you may want to avoid homes with lead-based paint. Older paint chips may fall, and if they consume any of the paint, it can cause serious health issues. If you don’t have children, this won’t be as big of a concern, but you likely don’t want to live in a house with lead paint either way.

Fortunately, lead paint can be removed after you buy a home. Just make sure a professional does it. If you do it yourself (DIY), you risk exposing yourself to lead-based dust and debris.

You Can Encapsulate Lead Paint

Another option is to encapsulate the lead-based paint by adding a special liquid coating over the top. However, this will only work if the paint is in good condition.

If you have any other concerns about buying a home or would like to speak with a real estate agent, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

Selling a Home: Tax Deductions

selling a home

When it comes to selling a home, you’ll want to make as much profit as you can. It’s crucial that you understand what tax deductions you can take because there are a lot of expenses that can lower your profits, and you’ll want to recoup them wherever you can. With that in mind, the following are some tax deductions that may be available when selling a home:

  • Home improvement/repairs costs: If you spent money on home renovations to make your home more appealing, then you can write those costs off. An example would be painting the house or fixing an appliance before listing your property.
  • Moving expenses: If you’re an active military member, then you can write off your moving expenses as well. This can include the cost of hiring a professional moving service or the cost of moving long-distance (such as travel costs).
  • Property taxes: Don’t forget you can write off your property taxes up to $10,000 for the last year before selling your house.
  • Selling costs: Certain expenses involved in the home selling process can be deducted:
    • Advertising costs
    • Escrow fees
    • Home staging expenses
    • Legal fees
    • Real estate agent fees
    • …and more. However, this only applies to the sale of your primary home and not investment properties.

These are a few things you may be able to deduct from your taxes when you sell your home. Keep in mind that if you’re selling a home that you lived in for 2 out of the last five years, you likely qualify for the capital gains exclusion as well, which means you can save a significant amount on capital gains taxes.

For more home selling tips, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

Buying a Home: What Is Earnest Money?

earnest money

There are a lot of expenses involved with buying a home. Although a home mortgage will cover a lot of the home’s price, you’ll also be responsible for making a down payment as well as paying for closing costs. However, one upfront cost you may not be familiar with is the earnest money deposit.

What Is Earnest Money?

Earnest money is commonly referred to as a good faith deposit. Essentially, it’s a sum of money the buyer puts into escrow after a sale agreement has been reached. Earnest money shows the seller that the buyer is serious about the purchase. It can prevent the buyer from making bids on multiple houses and reduce the risk of the sale falling through.

After all, sellers must relist their homes if a sale doesn’t go through and can end up losing a lot of money as a result – especially if they rejected other offers that were on the table.

How Much Earnest Money Do You Have?

The buyer will put around 1-3 percent of the home’s purchase price into escrow. If the buyer backs out because one of the contingencies wasn’t met, the earnest money will be returned. If buyers back out for no reason other than they changed their minds, sellers will keep the earnest money as compensation for their time.

If the sale does go through, then the earnest money will usually be applied to the down payment or closing costs. It’s not an extra expense but a deposit that shows the buyer is serious. It will be applied towards an already existing expense.

If you’re buying a home, expect to put down some earnest money. For more home buying tips, contact us at Randy Lindsay today. 

Selling a House to a Family Member: 3 Tips

Selling a house is rarely an easy process. That’s why the option of selling your house to a family member can be particularly appealing. Not only will you sell it quickly, but you’re selling to someone you care for who will appreciate your home.

However, there are risks involved. If you don’t do things the right way, you could end up damaging your relationship. Be sure to keep the following three tips in mind when selling a house to a family member:

  1. Establish the logistics: Sit down with your family member and determine the logistics of the sale, such as what professionals will help (including agents and lawyers), what the timetable of the sale should be, and more. Doing so will help avoid confusion and miscommunication.
  2. Get an appraisal: Whether your family member is planning to take out a mortgage or not, be sure to have a professional appraisal of your home before you strike any agreements. The last thing you want is to learn you’ve priced the home too high or too low. If the value of the house doesn’t match the agreed-upon price, there could be problems between you and your family member.
  3. Work with a real estate agent: You might be tempted to work without an agent since you’ll be dealing with someone you know. However, it’s a good idea to have an agent as an intermediary when it comes to the home buying and selling process. An agent can help with negotiations so you don’t strain your relationship.

Selling your house to a family member can be beneficial to all involved. Be sure to use these tips to avoid potentially straining your relationship. 

For more home selling advice, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.


Randy has enjoyed over 31 wonderful years in the Real Estate industry making dreams come true for homeowners.

Superior customer service is #1 to Randy and he provides this to all of his clients using knowledge, professionalism, integrity and persistence.

Randy is a successful and experienced real estate agent who expertly represents both buyers and sellers. Scores of Charlotte area residents have trusted Randy in the process of listing their homes to sell.

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