5 Costs To Expect With A Traditional Sale of Your New York House

October 04, 2023

Selling a house in New York is not a straightforward endeavor. While the city’s real estate market can offer great rewards, it’s essential to be aware of the expenses associated with a traditional sale. From agent commissions to staging costs, the financial aspects of selling a home can add up quickly. Here’s a breakdown of five significant costs you should anticipate:

5 Costs To Expect With A Traditional Sale of Your New York House

1. Real Estate Agent Commissions

One of the most significant costs in any traditional house sale is the real estate agent’s commission. Typically, this fee ranges from 5% to 6% of the sale price. For instance, if your New York house sells for $1 million, you could be paying up to $60,000 in commissions alone. Remember, this amount is often split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents.

The value an agent brings includes their expertise in pricing, marketing, negotiating, and navigating the complex processes associated with real estate transactions. While it’s a considerable expense, many sellers find that an agent’s services justify the cost, especially in competitive markets like New York.

2. Closing Costs

Closing costs encompass a range of fees and expenses incurred during the transaction process. While buyers typically shoulder many of these costs, sellers in New York can expect to pay anywhere from 8% to 10% of the home’s sale price in closing costs. These can include:

  • Transfer Taxes: In New York, sellers are subject to both state and city transfer taxes. The New York State transfer tax, as of 2022, is 0.4% for properties sold for $3 million or less and 0.65% for those sold for more than $3 million. New York City imposes an additional tax: 1% for properties sold for $500,000 or less and 1.425% for properties over that amount. The Mansion Tax is another noteworthy mention. Though traditionally a buyer’s expense, it applies to residential properties sold for $1 million or more, starting at 1% and increasing for higher-priced homes.
  • Attorney Fees: In New York, it’s customary for both buyers and sellers to have attorneys represent them in real estate transactions. They review contracts, handle paperwork, and ensure the sale’s legality. Attorney fees can vary based on the sale’s complexity and the attorney’s experience. While some might charge a flat fee, others could have an hourly rate. Typically, sellers can expect fees ranging from $1,500 to $3,000, though this might be higher for luxury properties or more intricate deals.
  • Title Insurance: Title insurance protects against financial loss from defects in the title. It ensures that the property’s ownership is free from any claims or liens. While it’s usually a buyer’s expense, there are situations where sellers might offer to cover this cost to make their property more appealing. The cost is generally around 0.5% to 1% of the sale price.
  • Miscellaneous Fees: These include various smaller charges that accrue during the sales process. Recording fees are associated with registering the change of property ownership with local authorities. Escrow fees relate to the services that hold funds until the transaction is complete. Notary fees are incurred when essential sale documents are legally authenticated.

3. Home Inspection and Repairs

Home inspections, primarily initiated by buyers, are more than just a procedural step in the home-selling process; they have significant implications for sellers. This comprehensive assessment of a property scrutinizes its structural and mechanical aspects, bringing to light any latent issues. Problems like outdated plumbing, foundational flaws, or questionable electrical systems can become central points of negotiation. Even though the immediate cost of the inspection is the buyer’s responsibility, the ensuing discussions based on its findings can have financial ramifications for the seller.

These ramifications can manifest in various ways: the seller might need to bear the costs of repairs to ensure the sale progresses, or they might have to offer price concessions reflecting the home’s condition post-inspection. Moreover, the time factor comes into play. Delays stemming from negotiations over repairs or the actual time taken to address the issues can push back the sale. Such hold-ups can create a ripple effect, potentially impacting the seller’s relocation plans or their next property purchase. It’s clear that home inspections, while seemingly buyer-centric, play a crucial role in shaping the seller’s journey and outcomes in a real estate transaction.

4. Home Staging and Marketing

In the competitive New York market, first impressions matter. To maximize a home’s appeal, many sellers invest in home staging. This involves furnishing and decorating the house in a way that showcases its potential. Costs can vary based on the size of your home and the extent of staging required but can range from $1,000 to upwards of $10,000 for larger homes or more elaborate staging.

In addition to staging, there might be additional marketing costs. While your real estate agent will typically cover many promotional activities, specialized marketing tactics—like professional photography, virtual tours, or premium listing placements—could come with added expenses.

5. Relocation Costs

Relocating often carries a mix of excitement and the daunting realization of associated expenses. Primarily, these costs arise from professional moving services. While some might picture a simple truck rental, the truth is more complex. Local movers, serving intra-city transitions, charge by the hour. In contrast, long-distance moves, especially across states, involve fees based on the weight of items and distance covered. These fees can quickly escalate with specialized packing for fragile items, transit insurance, and potential storage costs if the new home isn’t immediately ready.

Coupled with the physical move is the financial strain of temporary accommodations. Selling a home and relocating might lead to hotel stays or short-term rentals if there’s a gap between the sale and moving into the new residence. Expenses like meals out, transportation during this interim, and unanticipated costs can mount up. Beyond the direct financial implications, there are intangible costs too: emotional stress, potential time off from work, and the challenges of settling into a new environment. In essence, the multifaceted nature of relocation extends beyond mere logistics, touching both the wallet and well-being.


Selling a house in New York comes with its set of challenges and costs, especially when it comes to closing expenses. Being well-informed about these costs, from transfer taxes to attorney fees, ensures that sellers aren’t caught off guard when finalizing their property’s sale. As always, working with trusted professionals can make a significant difference in navigating this process. Companies like DealHouse provide invaluable expertise and insights, ensuring that sellers get the best possible experience and return on their investment. Leveraging the knowledge and resources of such experts can transform the intricate landscape of New York real estate into a smoother, more manageable journey.

Chris Chiarenza