What Is the Cost to Sell a House in Massachusetts?

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You’ve decided it’s a wicked good time to sell your home in Massachusetts. It follows then that it’s an excellent time to determine the cost to sell a house in Massachusetts.

Your home is likely the most significant asset you own. To assist you in your planning, we’ve researched the expenses you can expect and gathered expert insights to help you get a better idea of the cost to sell your Massachusetts home.

Housing trends in Massachusetts

With the roaring housing market of the last couple of years, home prices are hitting all-time highs. For illustration, the median home sold price in Massachusetts is $560,000. That’s more than 50% higher than the nation’s median home price of $368,200.

Days on the market or DOM is the number of days a property has been on the market, from the time it’s listed until the home is taken off the market with a signed contract. 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 Massachusetts, the average DOM is about 17 days. That’s a 5% decrease year over year. What does that all mean for the Massachusetts selling market?

A top real estate agent from Massachusetts with nearly 30 years of experience, Laurie Cappuccio, explains the market, “We see a little bit of a slow down with increasing interest rates, but I have a listing now, and I’m getting multiple offers. It depends on how well the seller prepared their home.”

What's Your Massachusetts 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

Step one in estimating the cost to sell a house in Massachusetts is getting a preliminary home value estimate.

Home values across the United States recently increased 19% in a single year. With home values and markets changing dramatically, now is an excellent time to check 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 ballpark 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 Massachusetts?

The cost to sell a house depends on several factors. Your specific situation may cost more or less. Typically, the cost to sell a house in Massachusetts is about 10.5% of the home’s final sale price.

If you sell your home for the median price of $560,000, the total cost to sell your house in Massachusetts might be about $58,880.

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 Massachusetts.

Normally, what we do is we get the seller to prep the home ahead of time. We put a plan together for the seller. We want the home to have curb appeal, nice crisp and clean windows, and a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
  • Laurie Cappuccio
    Laurie Cappuccio Real Estate Agent
    Laurie Cappuccio
    Laurie Cappuccio Real Estate Agent at Classified Realty Group, Llc
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    Currently accepting new clients
    • Years of Experience 29
    • Transactions 313
    • Average Price Point $532k
    • Single Family Homes 235

What are common expenses for home sellers in Massachusetts?

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

  • Prepping your house for sale
  • Realtor® fees
  • 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 average prices are a guide to assist you in preparing to sell your home.

We estimate that the total cost for you to prepare your home for sale in Massachusetts can range from $16,679-$28,800. That’s about 3%-5% of your home’s sale price.

Preparing your house for sale makes the whole process easier. “Normally, what we do is we get the seller to prep the home ahead of time. We put a plan together for the seller. We want the home to have curb appeal, nice crisp and clean windows, and a fresh coat of paint on the walls,” Cappuccio says.

Navigating such a wide range of home preparation costs 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 how to advise you on what to fix and what you can skip to sell your house faster and for more money.

Realtor® fees in Massachusetts

Agent commissions are one of the higher costs in a real estate transaction. In Massachusetts, Realtor® fees average about 5%. Based on the median home value of $560,000 in Massachusetts, you can expect to pay $28,000 in real estate agent commissions.

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

  • Listing agent fee $14,000 (2.5%)
  • Buyer’s agent fee $14,000 (2.5%)

The fee 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, let’s go back to our Massachusetts median home price of $560,000. If you use a top agent, you may sell your home for as much as $56,000 above the asking price and earn an additional $28,000 in 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 a 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 see how much you might pay in Realtor® fees in Massachusetts.

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

Seller concessions

Seller concessions are indirect costs that you may offer to the buyer to make your home more attractive.

Massachusetts’s current market probably does not require you to concede any seller concessions. Instead, to make their offers more competitive, it’s the buyers that are getting creative.

“They’re frustrated buyers, so they’re coming forward with absolutely no contingencies. That includes waiving the appraisal, the inspection, and offering use and occupancy,” Cappuccio says. “The seller can stay for up to 59 days [after closing] at no cost other than paying the utilities and taxes.”

You may not have to make concessions to complete the sale of your home. But as G.I. Joe says, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” However, your awareness of standard seller concessions or buyer incentives will make you an apt seller and give you some bargaining power if you need it.

The following list shows how the most common seller concessions may contribute to the cost of selling a house in Massachusetts:

  • Home inspection fees: $515
  • Buyer’s home warranty: $432-$960
  • Covering buyer’s closing costs: $10,212 (approximately)
  • Repair credit: varies (which reduces your net proceeds)

Closing costs and additional fees

So what closing costs do sellers pay in Massachusetts? 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. Here is how some of the average closing costs might look in Massachusetts:

Attorney Fees

The state of Massachusetts considers closing a real estate transaction a practice of law. Since the transaction is a law practice, an attorney must conduct the transaction. “It’s a norm, and you do need an attorney to prepare the new title and handle any title issues. The buyer will have a bank attorney, so you really need someone on your end to help negotiate,” Cappuccio says.

On average, the seller will spend about $1,150 for their attorney.

At-a-glance home selling cost example for Massachusetts

This at-glance analysis comes from Massachusetts’s median home price of $560,000. 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 $16,770 3%
Realtor® fees (commissions) $28,000 5%
Seller concessions $515 (inspection) .09%
Closing costs, taxes, fees (includes tax proration credit) $13,954 2.5%
Mortgage Payoff $292,513 52%
Attorney fees $1,150 .20%
Total selling cost example $352,902 63%

*Based on Massachusetts median home price of $560,000

In the example scenario above, if you successfully sold your home for $560,000, you could potentially profit $207,098. That’s not a bad windfall.

Relocation expenses

Don’t forget relocation costs. Are you leaving Massachusetts for a warmer state, or are you just relocating to historical Lexington? No matter your next move, you can expect to pay to relocate.

The cost of moving depends on where you are going 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 Massachusetts?

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

Part of keeping your seller costs down is being proactive. “Many of the houses we’re selling right now we’re staging and prepping. The seller knows the house is going on the market in advance, so they have to keep up with things,” Cappuccio says.

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

While it’s possible to sell your home with a discount broker or FSBO, it’s typically not the best way to maximize your profits. There is an adage, “You get what you pay for.” That may be true with discount brokers who could provide you with discount service. You might sell your home, but you could leave money on the table.

“They [some discount brokers and FSBO services] think they can do our job, and usually they get a lot less money for their home because they’re not trained on negotiating, and they don’t know exactly how to do it,” Cappuccio says. The level of service you receive can vary depending on the agent’s experience and what’s happening in your market.

Connect With a Top Agent to Sell Your Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts home?

As illustrated in our example chart above, preparation and closing costs vary. In our scenario using estimated average Massachusetts selling costs, if you successfully sold your home for $560,000, you could potentially profit $207,098.

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 is typically the most significant determining factor for calculating your net proceeds. The average Massachusetts homeowner has a remaining mortgage balance of $292,513, so that total will figure heavily in your overall profit.

You can calculate your profits by taking the sale price minus selling costs if you’ve paid off your mortgage before selling your home. Ask your agent for a net sheet to be sure of your calculations.

When you sell your home can also be 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 closing.

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

Typically, the prepping and the cost to sell a house in Massachusetts is about 10.5% or more of the home’s final sale price, not counting your mortgage payoff.

That 10.5% figure comes from the typical costs of:

  • Preparing a house for sale
  • Realtor® fees
  • Seller concessions
  • Closing costs
  • Taxes (excise and property Massachusetts)

A home’s mortgage payoff is also a tremendous expense when you decide to sell your home. Based on state averages, it can amount to about 52% of the total cost to sell a house in Massachusetts.

A good first step in determining the cost to sell your house in Massachusetts is getting a home value estimate.

Then it would be best if you made a plan to maximize your home sale price. 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.

A top real estate agent “knows how to handle problems without letting them become huge, who to reach out to and how to resolve them. [A top agent] can be creative and keep everyone feeling good about the transaction. Experience helps because it protects the seller from having to give more money out of pocket,” Cappuccio says. “We know how to negotiate, and we know how to fight for our sellers.”

HomeLight’s free Agent Match platform 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 Massachusetts.

Header Image Source: (Aubrey Odom-Mabey / Unsplash)