How Much does it Cost to Sell My Home in Lancaster CA

You are probably reading this blog because you are curious about the cost of selling a home in the Lancaster, Palmdale, and surrounding areas.  The numbers on this blog post are just some rough estimates, so should not be held as the actual cost of what your home will be to sell.  All costs vary based on companies used, time of year (tax reasons), and wording on the purchase contracts.  

In Lancaster, as in most states, selling a house is not as simple as finding a buyer, getting cash, and handing over the keys.  To sell a house in today’s market, you need to either be an expert on the market and real estate, or have help from an expert in marketing and selling properties. There are numerous costs associated with getting your home sold that you need to be aware of when you plan on selling it.  Please check out the list below for a detailed cost list and consult your agent, as costs will be specific to your transaction.    

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How Much are Commissions?

In Lancaster CA, commissions are 100% negotiable. They tend to vary depending on broker, experience, etc. The commissions traditionally include marketing your home to potential buyers, setting up open houses, listing your property on MLS, posting your properties to websites including Zillow, Trulia,, Craigslist, and much more.   

The average sales price for a home in the Antelope Valley is just under $300,000.  For the sake of easy math, we will use this number for future examples in this blog post.  If the commission for selling a home was 6% for example, you would pay $18,000 for commission.  Traditionally, the commission is split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.  Being that commissions are negotiable, you may be able to get the commission lowered if your agent can bring in a buyer themselves to purchase the home.  This is called dual agency.  Some brokerages allow it, but some do not.  Talk to your real estate agent to see if this may be a possibility.  Something very important to remember is that you don’t ever want to choose an agent based on commission. You tend to get what you pay for.  You want to find the agent who will get you the most money in your pocket, not who charges the most.  There is a big difference!  

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How Much do Appraisals cost?

Traditionally, the bank will require an appraisal report of the home before they can loan on the property.  The buyer will normally have to cover the cost of this report when selling a home.  If you want to feel more certain about your home value before you put it on the market, you can have the home appraised.  Appraisals vary based on company, size of the home, and location.  The average appraisal fee is around $450 dollars.

How much does it Cost to Stage a House?

The average buyer has their mind made up about a house in the first 9 seconds of entering it.  First impressions matter!  It is very common today for property sellers to hire someone to help stage and prep their home by decluttering, cleaning, and making the home more presentable. The average cost for this service in the Los Angeles area is between $500 and $2,000, depending on the scope of the staging requirements.

How Much Do Closing Costs Cost?

Closing costs are the meat of your expenses when it comes time to sell a home.  Closing costs are deducted at escrow and come out of the proceeds of the home sale.  You typically do not have to pay these fees up front or if the home does not sell.  The first fee is the commission fee. Many people ask how much a commission is or what it should be.  There is no single answer.  If broker tells you that it is 8% standard, he/she isn’t telling the truth.  There is no standard.  A broker can charge whatever they would like to charge for selling a home.  You may find a discount agent as low as 4%, or a specialty agent at 10%.  As a seller, you traditionally pay a flat commission.  Let’s say you agree to a 6% commission.  From that 6%, you are giving the agent that brings in the buyer anywhere from 2 to 4% of that commission, and the agent who handles the sale of your home will get the other part of what is remaining.  Regardless of the commission split with the cooperating broker, you will be paying this 6% commission that was agreed upon.  Keep in mind that the listing agent is never going to keep the full commission. They will have splits typically with the buyer’s agent and with their own brokerage. It is not uncommon that brokerage would keep up to 50% of the selling sides commission.

Here is an example: Your home sells for $300,000. You agree to an 8% commission with 4.5% to the listing agent for their comprehensive marketing system and 3.5% to the buyer’s broker who procures the buyer. Your total expense for the commissions would be $24,000, regardless of how it is split.

Recording Fee: The cost associated with recording a new deed. This cost is typically split between both the buyer and the seller at the county recorder’s office. The average fee is around $110

Escrow Fee: A fee that pays for the services rendered by the escrow company. The fee will vary by company, but for our example, it would be around $1000.

Title Insurance Fee: This around $500-$600 fee is associated with the seller ensuring that he/she is giving the buyer a clear title to the property.

California Transfer Tax: California Documentary Transfer Tax Act imposes a tax at the rate of $1.10 per $1,000 of value (exclusive of liens existing at the time of transfer). For a $300,000 dollar home sale the tax would be $330. For more information on the California Transfer Tax click HERE

Home Warranty Plan: This may be an optional fee for a one year warranty that the seller pays. Plans in California are between $300 and $700 on average, depending on the company and what you would like to cover.  

Pest inspection: If a pest inspection is required or requested, the property will be inspected for pests that can cause structural damage to a home.  This may already be included in the home inspection costs. If not, the fee is typically $80.

Courier Fees: A lot of paperwork is exchanged during the closing process.  You may be required to pay a courier fee to use a service in order to get the required documents to and from the respective parties (lender, title company, escrow firm, and county).  This can cost between $50 and $250.

There may be other fees that are paid by the seller if the seller agrees to them  during negotiations with the buyer. Sellers can agree to pay any or all closing costs depending on the mutual understanding between the two parties.

Pick the Right Agent to Help you with the Process

Choosing the right Antelope Valley real estate agent, like Garrett Rough and his team, puts you in a better position to sell your home quickly while getting the greatest return on your investment.  You need someone who knows how to sell a house in the Antelope Valley, and is familiar with the rules and regulations.  As you can tell, it is expensive to sell a home in California.  Ensure you maximize your profits by hiring the right local expert.   Give me a call at 661-860-1339 to discuss selling your property.  My comprehensive marketing system is designed to most conveniently get you the most amount of money for your property in the least amount of time.  Use my 15 second home valuation tool to get an idea for what your property may sell for in today’s market.  


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