Cost of selling a house in Illinois
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It’s relatively expensive to sell a house in Illinois. The table above shows that it costs 7.00% when factoring in Illinois realtor commissions and closing costs. That’s higher than the national average of 6.49%. But given Illinois’ relatively low home values, it’s cheaper to sell on a total cost basis compared to the national average.
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Overall home prices in Illinois are the highest in the region, as is the cost to sell as a percentage of the home price. As a result, Illinois’ average cost to sell in dollars at $18,591 is higher than in neighboring Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Iowa. Of course, Illinois home values vary quite a bit across the state, so your total home sale costs will also vary. For example, the median sale price as of March was $340,000 in DuPage County but only $82,750 in Knox County, according to data from Illinois Realtors.
Here’s an example of your potential costs at various price points, including realtor fees and seller closing costs.
|Sale price||Realtor fees (5.24%)||Closing costs (1.8%)||Total cost|
Factors that may impact your Illinois home sale costs include:
Typical Illinois realtor commission rates in your area
While the state-wide average rate is 5.24%, rates may be higher or lower depending on what’s normal in your area.
The estimated total cost to sell of 7.00% in Illinois does not include other potential costs like home staging, deep cleaning, and pre-listing repairs, which could add thousands more to your home sale costs.
Your negotiated contract
Illinois closing costs are split between the buyer and seller in most transactions. Sellers typically pay all commissions, realty transfer fees, recording fees, and prorated property taxes. Home sellers may also be on the hook for homeowners association (HOA) fees, attorney fees, property appraisal fees, and a mortgage payoff. Buyers take on most of the other expenses including inspection costs, appraisal costs, due diligence, owner’s title insurance, and buyer closing costs for their mortgage.
Here’s a deeper look at your expected home sale costs.
1. Illinois realtor commission (5.24%)
Using a realtor costs Illinois home sellers an average of 5.24% of the home’s sale price, which is deducted from the seller’s net proceeds at closing. That fee covers both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent commission. Your actual cost depends on your home’s value, as it costs much less to sell a $200,000 home compared to a $700,000 home, for example.
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*Median sale prices as of Q1 2022 according to Illinois Realtors. Commission costs assume an average realtor commission of 5.24%.
2. Closing costs for sellers in Illinois (1.1%)
Seller closing costs typically add another cost of 1.8% or more to the home’s final sale price, according to our data. Based on the average Illinois home value of $267,079, the typical home sellers pays $4,596 in closing costs. Illinois seller closing costs typically include survey fees, title insurance, and search fees, transfer taxes, prorated property taxes, recording fees, and attorney fees. Other seller fees could include Homeowners Association (HOA) fees, mortgage payoff and/or prepayment penalties, and seller concessions (anything the seller gives the buyer to close the deal).
As a home seller in Illinois, you are almost always responsible for proving that the property’s chain of title is in your name, so you typically have to pay for a plot survey and a title search. Land surveys in Illinois cost anywhere from $70 to $125 on average, while boundary surveys range from about $416 to $841, according to ProMatcher.com.
Title insurance and search fees
Title insurance protects the owner against any legal claims made against their home or possible mistakes on their deed, and usually covers the cost of legal fees when defending a claim. Illinois home sellers pay for owner’s title insurance. Buyers must also pay for their own policy, called lender’s title insurance, protecting the mortgage lender against problems with the title. The seller generally pays more than the buyer. For example, a typical breakdown in Illinois might have the seller pay $3,000 for owner’s title insurance and the buyer pay $500 for lender’s title insurance.
The Illinois government charges a real estate transfer tax on every home sale, amounting to $0.50 for each $500 of value, or 0.1%. Counties may also impose a tax of $0.25 per $500 of value. So home sellers have to pay a total transfer tax of 0.15% as part of their closing costs. On the flip side, buyers have to purchase a municipal stamp through the village where the home is located, which typically ranges from $1,500 to $2,500.
Prorated property taxes
Illinois home sellers are required to pay property taxes on the days they’ve owned their home in the calendar year. Taxes are prorated and split between the seller and buyer. The tax is due at closing. Actual costs depend on your annual taxes, and how many days you live in your home up until the closing date. Speak with your agent or attorney for more details on what you might owe in prorated taxes.
Illinois sellers face average recording fees of $30, compared to the national average of $120. Your county charges recording fees to register the property’s transfer of ownership. The fee amount varies by county and is usually included in the attorney’s fees.
Illinois home sellers are not required to use an attorney to handle the closing, but most sellers choose to do so. Real estate attorneys review all of your contracts and legal documents and protect you from potential issues that may arise during your sale. A good attorney can help you navigate a complex transaction and provide some peace of mind. Real estate attorneys charge an average of $326 per hour in Illinois, according to legal technology firm Clio.
3. Other potential costs
Home preparation costs
The cost of preparing your home for sale could add thousands more to your total upfront costs. Home staging costs between $745 to $2,659 on average in the U.S., according to HomeAdvisor. But actual costs vary widely depending on location, the size of the home, and the number of rooms being furnished. The average cost of a home staging in Chicago is $1,500, Illinois real estate brokers Rafael Velasco and Ryan Reynolds state on their website. A fully staged home can cost over $2,200.
Stagers can also charge around $150 to $500 per hour if you hire them for a consultation, the Velasco and Reynolds added. Staging companies normally charge $35 to $100 per room if they are staging by the hour or by square footage, not including delivery and pick-up costs for the furniture. Expect to spend at least $300 for deep cleaning, if required. Finally, pre-listing home repairs and improvements could add hundreds, if not thousands more to your budget, depending on your home’s condition.
Homeowners association dues
You may owe homeowners association (HOA) dues if your home is located in an HOA community. Sellers are typically responsible for covering a prorated amount of their annual membership dues at closing. If the HOA charges fees to transfer homeownership records to the buyer at closing, the seller usually pays them. Costs vary between communities, but they commonly range from $150 to $500. Check with your agent, attorney, or HOA board for more information on what you might owe.
Buyer’s closing costs
In addition to the costs outlined above, buyers may request that sellers cover some of their closing costs. Seller concessions include anything that the seller gives the buyer to close the deal. Seller concessions often come in the form of seller credits towards the buyer’s closing costs — 2-3% of the home’s sale price is common — or home warranty policies. However, they can also include compromises that don’t hold monetary value, such as an agreement to close on a date that’s preferable to the buyer.
A home warranty offers the homeowner protection from high repair costs on major appliances and electrical and plumbing systems. Illinois home sellers often cover the cost of the home warranty as a concession to the buyer, especially if the buyer complains about issues with the house. According to Michels, this concession mainly occurs with homes under $500,000. At higher price points, it’s rare for sellers to cover the home warranty. The annual premium for a home warranty in Illinois averages $593 for a single-family home, according to Review Home Warranties. Premiums for townhomes and condos are lower at about $498 and $618, while premiums for multi-family homes average $1,107.
The cost of a standard home inspection in Illinois typically starts between $200 and $400, according to Eureka-based Lucent Property Inspections. The fee runs higher for larger homes, with an inspection for a single-family home averaging between $300 and $600. Termites are relatively common in Illinois, so the buyer may request a termite inspection. Lucent Property Inspections charges $75 for this service. The person requesting the inspection usually covers the cost. Sellers pay for presale or pre-listing home inspections, while buyers generally pay for an inspection when closing on a home. In a cooler real estate market (like before COVID-19 hit), buyers may ask sellers for a closing cost credit if an inspection turns up any problems with the home, such as a cracked sink or an outdated water heater, Michels notes.
Capital gains tax
The IRS offers a tax break on capital gains from the sale of your primary residence, as long as you meet certain requirements:
- Single homeowners can deduct up to $250,000 of gains from the sale of their property;
- Married couples can deduct up to $500,000 of gains.
- You must have occupied the property for at least two of the past five years.
- You can also deduct certain repairs and improvements from your home’s cost basis.