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What Is the Cost to Sell a House in Chicago?

At HomeLight, our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying. Therefore, we promote strict editorial integrity in each of our posts.

You’re ready to sell your Chicago home. That part’s decided; now it’s time for you to determine the cost to sell a house in Chicago.

Your home is likely the single biggest asset you own. For instance, the median home sold price in Chicago is $365,000. Embarking on a sales transaction of that size calls for some planning, including understanding the costs, potential proceeds, and how long your home might be on the market so you can anticipate your next move.

In this post, we’ve researched the expenses you can expect and gathered expert insights to help you get a better idea of the cost to sell a house in Chicago.

Chicago didn’t have the huge spike in pricing that some of the markets throughout the states [had]. The majority of the market has been fairly stable. There’s a lot of demand still because people find a lot of value in our market.
  • Santiago Valdez
    Santiago Valdez Real Estate Agent
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    Santiago Valdez
    Santiago Valdez Real Estate Agent at Compass
    Currently accepting new clients
    • Years of Experience 20
    • Transactions 886
    • Average Price Point $305k
    • Condominiums 427

Housing trends in Chicago

While the median home sold price in Chicago is $365,000, the median listing price of Chicago homes — the assigned price when placed on the market — is $349,900. This is a positive indicator for home sellers. How quickly homes sell is also an indicator of the market’s temperament.

Days on the market, or DOM, is the number of days a property has been on the market from listing through having a signed sales agreement. It is an important data point for buyers. It provides a snapshot of the relative demand for a home in a particular region, state, or city.

In Chicago, the average DOM is 56 days. The average DOM in Chicago suggests a stable market for buyers and sellers.

Santiago Valdez is a HomeLight Elite Agent who sells homes more than 56% quicker than the average Chicago agent. He explains the Windy City’s market, “Chicago didn’t have the huge spike in pricing that some of the markets throughout the states. The majority of the market has been fairly stable. There’s a lot of demand still because people find a lot of value in our market,” says Valdez.

What's our Chicago Home Worth?

Get a near-instant real estate house price estimate from HomeLight for free. Our tool analyzes the records of recently sold homes near you, your home’s last sale price, and other market trends to provide a preliminary range of value in under two minutes.

Start with a home value estimate

A good first step in estimating the cost to sell a house in Chicago is getting a ballpark home value estimate.

Home values across the United States recently increased by around 19% in a single year. With home values and markets changing dramatically, now is an excellent time to check up on your home value. You may be pleasantly surprised to see what your house might be worth.

You can request a quick online value estimate using HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator to get an initial idea. This free automated valuation model (AVM) tool will use recent sales transactions, local market trends, and your home’s latest selling price to provide a preliminary value range for your property in under two minutes. Just enter your address to get started.

How much does it cost to sell a house in Chicago?

The cost to sell a house in Chicago depends on several factors. Your specific situation may cost more or less. Based on our extensive research, which we’ll break down below, the typical cost to sell a house in Chicago can be more than 14% of the home’s selling price.

If you sell your home for the median home sold price in Chicago of $365,000, your seller costs might be around $52,689.

Your estimated out-of-pocket costs will depend on your unique situation and several variable factors. Below is a guide to the most common factors that influence the cost to sell a house in Chicago.

What are common expenses for home sellers in Chicago?

The total cost to sell a house in Chicago depends on your specific situation. You can probably expect to run into these common expenses for home sellers in Chicago:

  • Prepping your house for sale
  • Realtor® fees in Chicago
  • Seller concessions
  • Closing costs
  • Attorney fees

Prepping your house for sale

Many factors influence the cost of prepping your home for sale. Those factors include the home’s size, age, and level of wear and tear. The following price estimates are a guide to assist you in preparing to sell your home.

We estimate that the average cost for you to prepare your home for sale in Chicago is $7,300. The total cost range might be higher, from $11,786-$37,821, depending on if you build a structure for greater buyer appeal such as a gazebo, or need to paint the house, which can cost an additional $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot. The prep costs can represent 2%-7% of your home’s sale price.

Prepping your house for sale is most likely a good investment and will attract more buyers. “Buyers, especially first-time homebuyers, are shying away from anything that needs much work,” Valdez says.

The potential cost is why it’s vital that before undertaking any large renovation projects or repairs, consult with your Realtor®. An experienced real estate agent will know what needs to be fixed and what you can skip to sell your house faster and for more money.

Realtor® fees in Chicago

Agent commissions are one of the higher costs in a real estate transaction. In Chicago, Realtor® fees are 6%. Based on the median home value of $365,000 in Chicago, you can expect to pay $21,900 in real estate agent commissions.

Typically, the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent split the commission evenly:

  • Listing agent fee $10,950 (3%)
  • Buyer’s agent fee $10,950 (3%)

This may seem like a lot, but partnering with a proven professional can make a huge difference in your final net proceeds. Our data shows that the top 5% of agents across the U.S. sell homes for as much as 10% more than the average real estate agent.

For illustration, your median price home is $365,000. If you use a top agent, you may sell your home for as much as $36,500 above the asking price, and you get $14,600 in additional profit. In that case, a 10% higher selling price can make the Realtor® fee a profitable investment, and the journey is so much easier with an experienced professional guiding you every step.

See how commissions impact total selling costs in our overview example chart later in this story.

Try HomeLight’s Agent Commissions Calculator to get an idea of how much you might pay in Realtor® fees in Chicago.

HomeLight’s free Agent Match platform can connect you with a top real estate agent in your market.

Seller concessions

Seller concessions are another cost to sell a house in Chicago. Seller concessions are indirect costs that you may offer to the buyer to make your home more attractive. Chicago’s housing market is not quite the seller’s market you would find in some regions of the nation.

Valdez says the reasonable house prices and steady demand make the market slightly favor sellers. As the interest rates increase and more people bail out, you might need to make some concessions to attract the best buyers.

You might not have to make concessions to make the sale. It would be edifying to be aware of common seller concessions or buyer incentives and how they contribute to the cost to sell a house in Chicago:

  • Home inspection fees: $553
  • Buyer’s home warranty $360-$720
  • Covering buyer’s closing costs (approximately) $12,346
  • Repair credit (which reduces your net proceeds)

As previously stated, Chicago’s market did not experience the wild swings that the rest of the country experienced, but sellers still have the upper hand.

“It’s very difficult [for buyers] to get seller concessions just because you’re going to have more than one offer at a single time and people are waiving certain parts of the contract,” Valdez says. That means you probably will not need to make any seller concessions, but you should know the costs.

Closing costs and additional fees

So what closing costs do sellers typically pay in Chicago? It depends, but the total seller costs can add up.

Closing costs are fees associated with a home purchase that buyers and sellers pay at the close of a real estate transaction. The average seller closing cost total in Chicago can fall in a wide range because of variable high dollar factors such as mortgage payoff amounts, taxes, and title fees. Based on our research, the closing costs can land between around $22,136 and $29,549.

Here is how some of the average costs might look:

Chicago sellers are also responsible for a tax proration seller credit. “The taxes for Cook County are paid in what is called arrears. So that means right now in 2022, we’re paying the taxes for 2021,” Valdez says. This means if you decide to sell, you need to figure in a tax proration seller credit as part of the cost to sell your home in Chicago.

Typically, a real estate contract prorates taxes at 110% in Cook County. That means a seller should provide the buyer a credit for the entirety of 2021 when the seller lived in the property. Suppose you sell your home on July 1, you would provide an additional amount as a prorated tax credit for the time you occupied the home (January 1 to July 1).

Attorney fees

Hiring an attorney is a common cost to sell a home in Chicago.

“I’ve done a lot of transactions and every single one of them has had an attorney. Sometimes people come in from other states and think that they don’t need one [an attorney]. Eventually, they run into an emergency that requires an attorney,” Valdez says.

While it’s not required by state law, hiring an attorney is a standard operating practice in most typical Chicago real estate transactions, especially for reviewing and approving title documents.

At-a-glance home selling cost example for Chicago

This at-glance analysis is based on the median home price of $365,000 in Chicago. These figures can be a helpful planning tool for you as you prepare to sell your home.

Selling expense Example cost  % of home sale price
Prepping your home for sale $7,300 2%
Realtor® fees (commissions) $21,900 6%
Seller concessions $553 (inspection) 0.15%
Closing costs, taxes, fees (includes tax proration credit) $22,136 6%
Mortgage payoff (state average) $179,683 49%
Attorney Fees $800 0.2%
Total selling cost example $232,372 64%

*Based on Chicago median home price of $365,000

In the example above, if you’ve successfully sold your home for $365,000, you could potentially make a profit of $132,628. That’s a nice tidy sum!

Relocation expenses

Don’t forget relocation costs! You have to move somewhere, after all. The cost of moving depends on where you are moving and whether you want movers to pack up your belongings for you. Here is the general cost to move after you sell your home:

How can I reduce my seller costs in Chicago?

There are several ways to reduce the cost to sell a house in Chicago. Some strategies are more effective than others.

Some of the things that you can do to reduce seller costs include:

Using a discount broker of FSBO can mean more work for the seller and less money in the long run. A discount broker offers discount services but may come with discount availability. Real estate transactions are complicated in Chicago. Navigating the real estate quagmire on your own is not recommended and not common. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 7% of home sales are FSBOs.

A top real estate agent will know the market and be able to provide the seller value. “With a Realtor®, you’re paying for professional advice. For instance, a discount broker might not offer value propositions that an experienced and professional broker can,” Valdez says.

No one wants to pay money, but reducing your seller costs in the Chicago market might not be the right play. In most cases, doing nothing to the house means reducing or limiting your buyer pool. You want to do enough to entice your buyer. “The house has to capture the buyer’s attention. We go into a property and make recommendations,” Valdez says. Those recommendations are the “minimum number of upgrades that make financial sense to close a sale.”

Connect With a Top Agent to Sell Your Chicago Home

It takes just two minutes to match clients with the best real estate agents, who will contact you and guide you through the process. To connect with an agent, simply tell us a little bit about your property and how soon you’re looking to sell.

Our data shows the top 5% of agents across the U.S. help clients sell their home for as much as 10% more than the average real estate agent.

How much will I make selling my Chicago home?

Several factors play a role in the net proceeds you’ll make on your home sale, including:

  • Method of selling (agent, for sale by owner, cash buyer, or iBuyer)
  • Cost of repairs and improvements
  • Total concessions or buyer incentives
  • Closing costs, including state, county, and local taxes
  • Mortgage balance payoff amount

The mortgage payoff amount is typically the most significant determining factor for calculating your net proceeds. The average Chicago homeowner has a remaining mortgage balance of $179,683.
If you’ve paid off your mortgage before selling your home, you can calculate your profits by taking the sale price minus selling costs. Ask your agent for a net sheet to be sure of your calculations.

When you sell your home is a determining factor in how much you will make. You want to strike when the iron is hot, and for most people, that means listing your house in spring and selling by the early summer. Typically, families want to be in their new home before the next school year.

Use HomeLight’s Best time to Sell Calculator to decide when to sell for the most money or the speediest. You may be able to list your home in March and sell it by June for 5.26%, or $19,199 more than normal.

Try HomeLight’s free Net Proceeds Calculator to get how much you might make selling your Chicago home.

As you look ahead to your next home purchase, try these other free HomeLight tools for buyers:
Home Affordability Calculator
Down Payment Calculator
Closing Costs Calculator

Know what to expect, plan, and partner with a top agent

The first step in determining the cost to sell a house in Chicago is to get a home value estimate.

Then you need to make a plan to maximize your profits. Our data shows that the top 5% of agents across the U.S. sell homes for as much as 10% more than the average real estate agent.
HomeLight’s free Agent Match platform can connect you with a top real estate agent in your market.

Typically, the cost to sell a house in Chicago is 14% or more of your home’s final sale price.
That 14% comes from the cost of:

  • Prepping your house for sale
  • Realtor® fees
  • Seller concessions
  • Closing costs
  • Taxes (state, county, and Chicago)
  • Tax proration

Your mortgage payoff is also a tremendous expense when you decide to sell your home. Typically, it can amount to about 50% or more of your total costs.
HomeLight’s Agent Match can connect you with the highest-performing agents in your market who can help you make the best of your home sale. See our data-backed list of the top real estate agents in Chicago.

Header Image Source: (John Jacobson / Unsplash)