Typical Home Sale Expenses in Massachusetts

What does it cost to sell your home? Some expenses will vary, such as repairs and improvements—either before coming to market or as a result of negotiations with your chosen buyer.

There are other standard expenses related to your sale that you can expect:

Brokerage commission

Brokerage commission is the fee you’ll pay to the real estate firm for the service of marketing your home; evaluating prospective buyers; negotiating on your behalf; and overseeing the transaction, from offer to purchase and sale contract to smoke detector inspection to closing. A typical fee is 5% to 6% of the sale price.

Legal representation

You’ll hire an attorney to negotiate your purchase and sale contract with the buyer’s attorney and protect your interests through the closing. Depending upon the complexity of the transaction, expect to pay $800 to $1,200.

Deed tax stamps

Massachusetts home sellers pay a tax on their sale price at closing. In most of the Commonwealth, the tax is $4.56 for every $1,000. So if the home sells for $500,000, the tax will be 500 x $4.56 ($2,280).

Title V certificate

If your property is served by private rather than public sewer, you’ll need to complete an inspection of the septic system before closing. The Title V septic inspection and pumping can cost $800 and upwards, depending on how easy it is to access the system in the ground. (Note that while a Title V septic inspection certificate is good for two years, the certification can be extended to a third year if the system has been pumped all three years.)

Smoke detector and carbon monoxide certificate

In the Commonwealth, a seller is required to furnish the buyer with a certificate of passed inspection from the local fire department for the carbon monoxide and/or smoke detectors in the home. Expect $50 to $100 for the inspection and resulting certificate.

(Note that if an inspection fails, you’ll be charged a new fee for each reinspection.) Also expect to pay for an electrician or other contractor to update and correct the detectors so that you can pass in time for inspection. Click here to learn more about the guidelines to meet the needs for inspection.

Miscellaneous fees

Fees for registry recording, mortgage discharges, courier, wiring may amount to a few hundred dollars.