Selling a Home is Costlier than Expected, Survey Says

By Kelly Leighton | Aug. 25, 2020 | 2 min. read

Eighty-six percent of sellers in a recent LendingTree survey either strongly agree or somewhat agree that the homeselling process was more expensive than they had expected.

Many sellers do upgrades to their homes before putting their properties on the market, and those can add up quickly. In this survey, 48% of respondents spent money on interior painting, 45% upgraded the bathroom and another 45% upgraded kitchen appliances. Still, owners are not neglecting their homes’ outer appearance, as 43% have invested in improving their landscaping and 41% have painted the exterior. A less expensive project that half of sellers reported doing was de-cluttering and taking down decorations to give their home a less-busy feel. Sellers are planning to spend more than $10,000 on repairs and upgrades, on average, with millennial sellers expecting to spend the most, at $13,727.

In addition to being more expensive to sell than they had anticipated, sellers have other stressors as well. Nearly three in 10 said buying a home at the same time as selling is the most stressful part, 16% said making those pricey repairs and 15% are afraid their home will not sell.

Some sellers reported they felt pressure from their real estate agents during the process. Twenty-two percent of respondents said their agent pressured them to take a low-priced offer on their home, and 22% said they felt pressured to spend more on upgrades and repairs from their agent. Thirteen percent said they felt pressured by their agent to stage their home a certain way to attract buyers.

Even with these pressures and unexpected expenses, 56% of sellers think their home will sell in three months or less, and 12% said they think their home will sell in less than a month.

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