Click HERE to download the PDF guide!
Click HERE to download the PDF guide!
Self-made millionaire David Bach was quoted in a CNBC article explaining that “the single biggest mistake millennials are making” is not purchasing a home because buying real estate is “an escalator to wealth.”
Bach went on to explain:
“If millennials don’t buy a home, their chances of actually having any wealth in this country are little to none. The average homeowner to this day is 38 times wealthier than a renter.”
In his bestselling book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” Bach does the math:
“As a renter, you can easily spend half a million dollars or more on rent over the years ($1,500 a month for 30 years comes to $540,000), and in the end wind up just where you started — owning nothing. Or you can buy a house and spend the same amount paying down a mortgage, and in the end wind up owning your own home free and clear!”
Bach is a self-made millionaire who has written nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers. His book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists.
He has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show appearing more than 100 times, has been a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS, and has been profiled in many major publications, including The New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader’s Digest, Time, Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, Redbook, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investors’ Business Daily, and Forbes.
Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.
Costs of Selling a Home
Many homeowners who are thinking about selling their home don’t realize there are specific costs of selling a home. Due to the fact that many homeowners don’t realize this, asking about the costs of selling a home is one of the most frequently asked questions about selling a home.
It’s very important that if you’re thinking about selling your home, you understand what the costs of selling a home are and also why you’re paying them. One of the worse feelings for a home seller is to find out they have to fork up a couple thousand dollars for closing expenses that they had no idea existed.
As one of the top Realtors in North Idaho, I find it extremely important to explain to a seller upfront what the potential costs of selling a home could be. It makes my job much easier when I don’t have to backpedal and explain to a seller why they are paying for specific things while we are reviewing a purchase contract.
Below you will find out what the costs of selling a home are and why they are potentially incurred. Keep in mind that some of the costs of selling a home that are discussed below may not apply to all home sellers. By understanding the costs of selling a home that are listed below, you greatly reduce the chances that you will be shocked when reviewing a closing statement.
Brokerage Fees / Real Estate Commissions
First and foremost, brokerage fees, which are frequently referred to as real estate commissions, are negotiable. In the majority of real estate transactions, a seller is responsible for paying the costs of real estate commissions. This is sometimes a difficult pill to swallow for sellers, especially first time home sellers, but it’s important to keep in mind that when a seller bought the home they are trying to sell, it’s likely the previous owners covered the costs of real estate commissions.
Since real estate commissions are negotiable, it’s very important that you understand before signing a listing agreement that you know what the percentage or dollar amount will be for the commissions. One of the most important questions to ask real estate agents when selling a home relates to the brokerage fees they charge. Once an amount is agreed upon, it’s critical to get it in writing, which is usually done by signing an exclusive right to sell contract.
Since real estate commissions can be a substantial cost, it’s important you know exactly what services you’re receiving. A 6% brokerage fee on a $500,000 sale would be $30,000 in commissions, so knowing exactly what real estate marketing strategies the agent is going to use is critical. It isn’t always the best decision for a seller to hire the agent who offers the lowest percentage or amount of commission as this agent may not provide a level of service that is required to get a home sold in the shortest amount of time and for top dollar.
One of the costs of selling a home that some sellers may encounter are known as seller concessions. Seller concessions in real estate allow a seller to contribute money towards a buyers closing expenses and down payment.
Some sellers find it very difficult to contribute money towards a buyers closing expenses and down payment, however, without seller concessions it is possible a buyer may not be able to afford to buy a home and ultimately, the seller isn’t able to sell their home. There are many different types of mortgages that a buyer can choose from and depending on the type of mortgage, a buyer can receive different percentages of seller concessions.
For example, if a buyer is going to be getting an FHA loan, they are able to receive a seller concession up to 6% of the purchase price of the home.
Title Search Cost
Anytime a piece of real estate is transferred, a title search will be completed. The cost to complete this search is customarily one that is covered by a home seller. The cost of a title search in the Greater Rochester NY area is between $400 – $600, depending on a variety of circumstances.
The purpose of a title search is to ensure the seller has the right to transfer ownership of the property and also discover whether there are any claims, errors, assessments, debts, or other restrictions to the property.
Recently while selling a home, a review of the title discovered that there was an outstanding mortgage that was never satisfied from the owner previous to the seller. This had to be rectified before the buyers lender would accept the title and release the funds to the buyer to be able to purchase the home.
Instrument Survey Cost
The majority of mortgage companies will require an instrument survey to be completed prior to approving the funds to purchase a home. The instrument survey is one of the costs of selling a home that the majority of sellers will cover.
The purpose of an instrument survey is to show the various improvements on a piece of land such as a garage or the home itself. Additionally, an instrument survey shows any variances on a property as well as any boundary line encroachments.
The cost of an instrument survey depends on several factors, including the amount of acreage and the topography of the land. The general cost of an instrument survey in the North Idaho area ranges between $400 – $600.
One of the optional costs of selling a home are home warranties. When selling a home, a seller has the option to offer prospective buyers a home warranty. It’s important that when selling a home you determine whether offering a home warranty is worth it or not.
Many home warranties will provide coverage for the seller while the home is listed for sale on many of the major components of a home such as the HVAC systems, electrical systems, and plumbing systems. The peace of mind that this offers a seller can be worth offering the home warranty alone. A home warranty also can help put a buyer at ease since they are receiving coverage for a specified amount of time after closing on the homes major components.
Depending on the warranty company and the size of a home, the cost of a home warranty will vary. The cost of a home warranty for a single family home that is under 2,500 square feet is around $500. Again, offering a home warranty is one of the optional costs of selling a home, so it’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of offering it.
Capital Gain Taxes
Depending on the amount of profit a seller makes on the sale of their home will determine whether or not they will be required to pay capital gain taxes. Capital gain taxes require a seller to pay taxes if they sell their home for a substantial amount more than they purchased their home for, but there are exclusions.
If you’re selling your home and file your taxes as a single, capital gain taxes are not required on any amount under $250,000. For married couples, capital gain taxes are not required for any amount under $500,000. When figuring out the gains from a sale, it’s possible for a seller to use expenses such as home improvement projects as deductions.
For example, if a seller bought their home for $150,000 and sells their home for $450,000 but put $100,000 towards improvement projects, their gain would be $200,000 which means they would be exempt from paying capital gain taxes.
If required to pay capital gain taxes, the amount will depend on your tax bracket. If you are unsure whether you will be required to pay capital gain taxes or not, you should consult with your accountant.
Existing Mortgages and/or Home Equity Loans
Paying off existing mortgages and/or equity loans on a home are often the biggest cost of selling a home. If you’re selling a home and do not have a mortgage or home equity loans, this cost can be disregarded.
When selling a home, you need to realize that the balance of an existing mortgage or equity loan may not be the payoff amount. One of the most important things to do before selling a home is to find out what the payoff balances are on any mortgages or loans.
The sale price and the amount of the other costs of selling a home need to be less than the payoff amounts, otherwise, you may need to come up with money at closing or potentially may need to consider a short sale.
Cost Of Repairs From Various Inspections
Another potential cost of selling a home are repairs that are negotiated as a result of various inspections of a home. There are tons of reasons why home buyers have home inspections and a variety of other inspections.
It is feasible that there will be no additional costs from various inspections, however, it’s important to be aware of the potential additional costs of selling a home that can arise from inspections being completed on your home.
It’s pretty well known that there are costs associated with buying a home, but the same cannot be said about the costs of selling a home. As you can see from the above information, there are many costs of selling a home that you need to be aware of.
A top real estate agent will provide you with what is called a sellers net sheet so that you can see what the potential costs are to selling your home. Keep in mind that some of the costs cannot be predicted, such as repairs from various inspections.
I’m often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.
Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!
While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It’s important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial “comfort zone.” To that end, it may be more important to lock in today’s relatively low interest rates while they are still available.
Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today’s market.
We were very nervous first time home buyers. Lea was very patient and never gave up on us. Her knowledge and experience helped us find the right house, and her tough negotiation skills helped us afford it. Lea obviously cares first and foremost about her clients. I cannot express how thankful we were to have her in our corner. Thanks Lea!
K.L. & M.S.
My family had an incredible experience working with Lea Williams from Sotheby’s and I personally feel lucky to have her as a new friend and agent. We were new to the Coeur d’Alene area; we had a 1,001 questions ranging from neighborhoods to what are the “best” schools for my boys. The whole task and underlying process appeared to be daunting, prior to Lea entering the picture. She simply took the time to understand my family’s needs, she developed a comprehensive plan and we literally spent the next 4 weeks identifying the right house for our family. Lea was always thoughtful in her approach, very responsive and we never felt rushed over that 4 week period. We honestly could not be happier with the process and end result. If you are a prospective home buyer who is relocating to the Coeur d’Alene area, I highly recommend Lea Williams.
C. & K. B.
Lea Williams is an excellent and dedicated real estate agent who is very knowledgeable about the real estate market in the Coeur d’Alene and Northern Idaho areas. She worked with us for nearly a year in our search for land on which to build a home. She also showed us many completed homes in areas we liked in the event we decided not to build. Despite this long, tedious process, Lea never lost her enthusiasm to help us find “that perfect place”. Finally, we did find it – thanks to Lea! We would strongly recommend her to anyone in need of a qualified and personable real estate agent and we look forward to working with her again someday.
K. & T. B.
Working with Lea was a pleasure. She was available to us by email, phone and text and always responded promptly. With Lea on our side, she managed to make a short sale move along as swiftly as any other real estate transaction. Our sale was under $100k but she made us feel like we were buying a million dollar mansion. We will be certain to call Lea as we trust her and have confidence in her. Thank You.
C. & L. K.
Lea Williams is an exceptional agent and an absolute pleasure to work with. Her knowledge of the local market was instrumental in helping us find our dream home. Every step of the way, Lea was organized, thoughtful, and professional in her approach. She is our first and only recommendation to anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the area.
Lea helped us out a lot. We went through USDA and it took about 6 months but she had patience and guided us through the whole process and always had helpful information.
M. & D.O.
We worked with Sarah and Lea to complete the purchase of a home. While Sarah was our primary contact she made it clear that she was working with Lea and used her as an expert resource. Lea was always available and made invaluable suggestions throughout the negotiation process that helped strengthen our negotiating position. I am convinced that without her help we would not have been able to negotiate the complex process nor would we have been in as strong a negotiating position. Even at closing and beyond she has provided helpful suggestions for us and has remained in touch. She is a consummate professional.
P. & D.L.
Lea Williams was very helpful to me in my search for a new home. Whatever questions I had , she was always there with an answer and if she did not know the answer, she researched it until she found the answer. Every step of the way she was there because, it seemed I always needed help. She is very wise when it comes to selling and buying. I would highly recommend Lea to anyone I know for a very positive experience. I also believe, she became a friend in the process.
This being my first house purchase, Lea went far beyond her job title to make sure everything went as smooth as possible. It was a fun/great experience all thanks to Lea Williams. Thank you for everything.
Lea Williams is wonderful! She worked hard for us to get us into our new home in an extremely short amount of time. Lea was always available when we had questions and she was always a pleasure to work with!
T. & S.M
Lea was very knowledgeable throughout the entire home buying/building process. Her expertise, knowledge and personal connections proved to be very valuable. She made what could have been a stressful situation a positive experience.
Moving to Idaho brought its own challenges as we searched the web and spent countless hours looking for an area, a community and a home we could call our own. Finding a real estate professional as we did in Lea Williams proved to be a great move. Lea quickly earned our respect and trust as she took the time to listen and understand our specific requirements. House hunting on the Internet initially looks great, but you really need a Real Estate Professional that has your back, can negotiate a good deal and can protect you from trouble. My wife and I love our home/properties, our community and couldn’t have done it without you.
L. & J.J.
Lea was amazing. We are from out of state and were lucky enough to find her. Her knowledge of the area and willingness to show us a variety of homes made finding the perfect home a breeze. I would highly recommend Lea without hesitation.
T. & J.K.
My wife and I were trying to buy a summer home and eventually retire in it. We chose Coeur D’ Alene and we lucky enough to get to work with Lea Williams and her awesome partner Sarah Griffin. We had to drive her crazy looking at so many properties. Sarah made up a beautiful folder for each one with more information about it than we could digest. The service and expert, professional care we were given was way beyond expectations. We live in Arizona and the communication and follow up was great and this team of ladies never left us hanging. When anything close to what we wanted was available they made sure we had all the information. We finally landed on a Condo and made the purchase site unseen and only relying on the pictures and the trust in Sarah and lea that it was a great place. Sarah even did the walk through for us. This ended up being a flawless process and a great place with a great deal. I can’t stress enough for anyone who is looking for a realtor in Coeur D’ Alene that you better contact Lea Williams and Sarah Griffin for the best experience and professional care you would want. We now have a realtor for life for all our needs. Thanks to Lea and Sarah for all you do.
F. & B.C.
My husband & I are elated with the service, style and talent of the duo Lea Williams & Sarah Griffin! From the first phone call returned within minutes of my initial inquiry to the final purchase document signing, Lea & Sarah were polished professionals. In the 5 months we worked together, each of our numerous phone calls, emails & texts were addressed with patience, courtesy, expertise, insightful input and unrelenting pleasantness. As transplants to Northern Idaho, my husband & I needed more info than a local buyer, but Lea & Sarah were always available for any question. A superlative rating was well-earned by each of these women.
M. & S.C.
We have had Lea help us out on two separate occasions. As a deployed Soldier, it was a blessing to have an agent like Lea who took care of my wife and kids while I was away both times. She is one of the most professional agents I have ever had the privilege to work with. I will immediately recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell as she has become a member of my family.
R. & J.S.
Lea’s expertise was evident in every step of the transaction to purchase a new home. Though we were out of town for most of the process, she made sure we were constantly updated on the progress of the sale. She coordinated all the moving parts and made everything go smoothly from start to finish.
C. & C.M.
After thoughtful planning for over a year, we were ready to pull the trigger on our move from North Dakota to Coeur d’Alene, ID. Lea Williams was referred to us from a friend and we couldn’t have been happier! She made our move from one state to another a seamless transition. Lea was extremely responsive and we never had to worry if she was going to follow-through with what she said she was going to do. We highly recommend Lea to anyone planning to purchase real estate in the North Idaho area!
D. & M.K.
Lea came to us via a personal letter seeking a listing of our home. The letter was the most professional we had seen so we arranged a meeting. She impressed us with her professional approach and demeanor. She was the only REALTOR® who kept us advised and made a genuine effort to market our home. She was successful and we couldn’t recommend her more highly.
T.F. & M.F.
Lea – We sure appreciate all the work you went to, to get our cabin and lot sold. Since we live so many miles from the property, it was necessary to have someone like you represent us in its sale. And, I might add, you were recommended by one of your former clients.
D. & L. T.
There are so many REALTORS® to choose from, how do you pick the right one? Listen to what they say and check out their background. When you do, you will come to the same conclusion that we did…Lea Williams. Lea is a professional that should be the standard for the industry. She knew our property. She understands buyers and sellers, and she followed up on all showing. Lea was at every showing and all potential buyers had been qualified. Lea’s promotional materials were outstanding. It’s your choice… choose wisely. Good luck, but whatever you do, interview Lea Williams.
J. & J. A.
We had property listed with Lea when my husband asked for a divorce. I was in a meltdown and unfortunately I pulled Lea right into the middle of the drama. She was wonderful. She remained professional and was very kind and patient with the whole thing. She showed me multiple places where I could make my new home, all the while selling our listed condo. Thank You, Lea!
Working with Lea was a pleasure. She proved to be very knowledgeable about the market in our particular area and provided excellent market exposure for our home. One of the most important things I appreciated about Lea was the fact that she was always accessible and kept in close contact throughout the selling process. We were selling our home due to job relocation and had lots of stressful things going on. Lea was always understanding of our situation and very patient in listening to our ideas and answering our questions. She was always encouraging and upbeat while at the same time making sure we were realistic about what to expect given the market situation. I believe that we found the best REALTOR® for us.
J. & A. J.
We are delighted to recommend Lea Williams as a realtor extraordinary. After spending two years with two other realtors, we were fortunate to meet Lea. Lea is very professional and personable. She goes out of her way to cover all aspects of a sale. As a result, our property sold very quickly. If you would like to make a quick sale, call Lea Williams of Tomlinson Sotheby’s.
M. & R.B.
ea and her team were the best from start to finish. She knows the changing market very well and had the experience to sell my house quickly and professionally. The house was marketed right away with great photos and many r/e websites and I got an offer quickly. She made sure the buyer was serious and qualified and saw the deal close within a reasonable time frame. I highly recommend Lea!
We are a military family and were assigned to work with Lea through an USAA program. After our extremely bad experience buying our home, we were nervous and worried about having to deal with Realtors again. So glad that we went through the process with her. She did anamazing job getting pictures that made our home attractive, and had it listed and sold within a month. Lea was easy to reach and kept us in the loop with everything. I actually understood what was going on this time around. Looking forward to moving back home and with Lea’s help finding a home that matches our family. If you want results and and honest person to get them for you, I recommend Lea as one of north Idaho’s best.
J. & R.S.
Lea handled the sale of our property with precision detail. Outstanding in all aspects of taking care of business. Dealt directly with our property management team so everything went smoothly. Covered all the bases so no problems for us to deal with especially since we live out of state. It was always pleasant dealing with Lea & she kept us informed every step of the way. We plan on using Lea again since she is so successful in handling business & we don’t have to worry about anything.
Lea is a truly professional real estate agent. She is extremely knowledgeable, positive, and responsive to her clients. Our experience with Lea, as an agent, places her with the top agents in North Idaho.
J. & J.A.
I had attempted to sell our house twice before so had some basis for comparison of realtors. This time I qualified multiple realtors, narrowed it down to 3 and asked each to respond to list of questions on the property and sales process. Lea’s response was head and shoulders above in thoroughness and content. She had strong opinions on staging and marketing the house and on price. All turned out to ring true. The photographers she hired did an outstanding job promoting the property. We got two full price offers one sight unseen based on the photos. Lea managed the ensuing bidding process and relationship between the ultimate buyer and seller very professionally. Her responsiveness and follow up were impressive. I would recommend her highly.
J. & K.R.
My husband and I were referred to Lea by a local real estate agent for the sale of our cabin in Idaho. Our first moment of “wow” was after seeing the professional pictures taken. Second “wow” was the signage and beautiful brochures that were at the cabin. Among many other efforts by Lea such as her extensive marketing, I believe that she is the reason our cabin sold…and at full price! We truly felt like we were in Lea’s top priority throughout our entire sale. Communication was always prompt and we were always kept up to date on everything going on. Lea went above and beyond to make this completely effortless for us, including coming to our hometown for closing documents. Lea also represented the buyers in the deal which happened to be our good friends. Because of Lea’s professionalism, a situation that could have been awkward and uncomfortable with our friends was one that couldn’t have went better. We felt that Lea had both parties in their best interest. The deal ended with both parties being extremely happy with the final offer. We will continue working with Lea as we search for our next cabin. My husband and I highly recommend Lea Williams for any real estate needs.
J. & T.S.
It was a true pleasure working with you to sell my condo at Twin Lakes Village. You kept me up to date as the process went forward and always promptly returned my calls as I had questions and comments. You are the consummate real estate professional and will be given all referrals by anyone looking to find a fantastic Realtor!