It’s easy to understand the excitement of making a big profit on the sale of your home, but as with everything else, it takes money to make money. Unfortunately, when calculating your actual profit on the deal, your data is faulty without a complete picture of how expensive it is to list a home for sale on the Philadelphia market. While the term holding cost is familiar to those in the real estate industry, homeowners who are ready to sell may not have considered the realities of this aspect of the listing process and the weight it carries.
In addition to the costs to prep, making any repairs, and marketing along with commissions if you hire a real estate agent, holding costs are a necessary evil in the game of traditional home sales. And if forced by circumstance to relocate before the sale, your holding costs are doubled.
It makes no difference if you list with an agent or sell your house independently; you’re responsible financially for the expenses of holding the property until sold. While some of these expenses are obvious, it can be eye-opening to see them listed out on paper and realize how quickly they add up and how much they will deplete the profits on the sale. You must therefore understand how to accurately calculate the holding costs for your home in Philadelphia.
The holding costs of listing include the mortgage payment, the largest of your expenses, and the most significant concern as time passes. It can be challenging to determine how many months of fees you’ll carry for the property once you’ve decided to sell. However, you can take a few clues from the MLS or speak to Philadelphia real estate agents to learn the average number of days on the market (DOM). Although pricing your home at the right price point from the start is one of the best ways to ensure a quick sale, taking all of the steps necessary to present the home in its best light through your marketing efforts can lower the DOM number even further.
While it is tempting to turn off the utilities to save on your holding costs, if you have moved out before the sale, you should consider leaving everything in place for the convenience it will offer you or your real estate agent during showings. With the utilities on, issues with a primary home system, such as electrical or HVAC, will be brought to light. Because of disclosure laws, it is in your best interest to detect problems before the sale rather than become a discovery after the fact and a bone of legal contention.
Taxes and Insurance
While not always at the forefront of your mind when considering the holding costs involved with the sale of your house in Philadelphia, property taxes and insurance, like the mortgage, will be a given when you own property. You’re responsible for the insurance on the home until it is no longer in your name, as well as the property taxes until the closing date. In addition, you’ll bear the burden of any repairs if any damage occurs, and your insurance does not cover the incident during the listing period.
Maintenance and Repairs
While you may not necessarily consider repairs as holding costs associated with your house in Philadelphia, surprises of the disastrous type are common when you own a home. These unexpected expenses can add fear of the unknown to the listing process and financial urgency to your need to sell. You’ll also need to ensure that the home’s exterior retains the curbside appeal from the first day it is listed until sold. You’ll also need to make sure the interior remains show-ready at all times. Finally, if you’ve had to relocate, you may have the added expense of hiring the work done or traveling from home to home and caring for both.
Don’t overlook the Homeowners association fees when considering the expenses of listing and holding costs of a property while on the market. These fees are much like property taxes in that you are responsible for them until the home is no longer in your name. In addition, depending upon your agreement, there may also be transfer fees due upon the sale of the property.
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