Seller Net Sheet: What it Is, How to Read One

Steve Nicastro

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Steve Nicastro

May 22nd, 2022
Updated May 22nd, 2022

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✍️ Editor's Note: I'm a real estate agent and investor who has prepared dozens of net sheets. I can show you how to read a net sheet, create one on your own, or get a free one from a local realtor. Why trust me?

What is a seller's net sheet in real estate?

A real estate net sheet is a free report, prepared by a realtor, that estimates how much cash you can expect to walk away with after your home sale.

The net sheet calculates your estimated net proceeds by subtracting projected home selling expenses – pre-listing repairs and improvements, realtor commission, closing costs – from the target sale price.

Seller net sheets can help you make important decisions before and after listing a home for sale, like if you can afford to make repairs before listing. They also help you compare offers as they come in to see which should net you the highest amount.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to create your own net sheet to get a ballpark estimate of your net proceeds. But if you're seriously looking to sell your home, you should get a free net sheet from a local realtor, which will be more accurate and reliable.

» MORE: Get a free net sheet from a local agent, save on realtor fees

🔍 This guide includes:

Real estate net sheets: The full breakdown

A net sheet is a spreadsheet that estimates how much money you can expect to net in a home sale. It deducts typical seller-paid expenses (closing costs, realtor commission) from your estimated sale price.

Realtors typically provide a net sheet for free during their initial listing presentation, before listing your home for sale. Here's how an agent usually creates your net sheet:

  • The agent completes a comparative market analysis (CMA) report to determine your home's estimated value, and then plugs in a range of possible sale prices (e.g. low, medium, high).
  • The agent deducts your estimated selling costs from the sale price, including pre-listing repairs and improvements (painting, home staging, etc.), realtor commission, and closing costs.
  • The net sheet spits out your estimated net proceeds by subtracting your estimated expenses from each of the sale price ranges.

👍 Why net sheets are useful

Net sheets can be useful for sellers before and after listing a home for sale.

Before listing: A net sheet can help you budget and plan for potential pre-listing expenses, such as a pre-listing inspection, home repairs and improvements, home staging, or an appraisal. A net sheet can also help you and your agent determine if you can afford these optional costs, and if they're worth paying for.

After listing: Net sheets help you evaluate offers as they come in. Your agent can plug each offer into your net sheet to see which one nets you the most money, factoring in sale price and any requested seller concessions (i.e., if the buyer asks you to pay for their closing costs, home warranty, or a termite inspection). Net sheets can also help you plan next steps after closing, like budgeting for moving costs or funding a down payment on a new home.

⚠️ Net sheets have limitations

A net sheet is not a legal document or 100% accurate. It simply provides an estimate of net proceeds, which will likely go up or down by the time you sell your home.

It's impossible to know what your home will sell for, and buyers may want to renegotiate price and terms while under contract. Some closing costs vary based on when you sell, making it impossible to get truly accurate numbers in advance.

Net sheets also don’t calculate your actual net profit on the sale or include all of your possible selling expenses.

🔍 Net proceeds vs. net profit

Net proceeds and net profit are related, but aren't the same thing.

  • Net proceeds: The amount of money transferred into your bank after your home sale closes, after all fees have been deducted (closing costs, realtor fees, etc).
  • Net profit: What you earn in your home sale, factoring in the original purchase price and any money spent on the home while you owned it. Net profit is used for calculating capital gains tax.
For more information on how to figure out the net profit (or loss) on the sale of your home, check out the IRS' tax guide and consult with your accountant or tax advisor.

What is (and isn't) included in a net sheet?

Typically included
Typically not included
  • Pre-listing expenses
  • Closing costs
  • Realtor fees
  • Capital gains
  • Loan payoff
  • Moving expenses

Costs typically included in a net sheet

Pre-listing expenses

You may need to spend a bit of cash to get your home ready for sale. Here are some common pre-listing expenses that net sheets typically include, if applicable.

  • Pre-listing inspection: A general home inspection to help you spot minor or major repair issues to fix before listing.
  • Repairs and improvements: Stuff you choose to fix before listing your home, including paint and drywall repairs, leaky toilets or faucets, broken windows, roof leaks, professional cleaners, etc.
  • Home staging: The cost to hire a professional to decorate and rearrange your furniture and belongings, to make your home look more appealing to buyers.
  • Appraisal: You can pay for an appraisal if you and your agent are struggling to determine or agree on a fair market value for your home through their CMA report.

Seller closing costs

Seller expenses to finalize the home sale often include:

  • Title and escrow charges (attorney fees): The cost to hire a title company or attorneys to transfer home ownership to the buyer, and to handle your closing.
  • Deed stamps (recording fee): The cost your local government charges to record your deed and transfer of title.
  • Prorated property taxes: The estimated amount of property taxes the seller owes at closing (the seller is only responsible for paying taxes for the days they owned the property).
  • Transaction coordinator fee: Your agent may have a transaction coordinator, who helps them complete paperwork, schedule and coordinate inspections, and meet important contract deadlines.
  • Seller concessions: The cost to pay part or all of the buyer's closing costs (if agreed upon in the sale contract).
  • Homeowner's association (HOA) fees: The cost to transfer property ownership from the seller to the buyer, if the home is located in an HOA.
  • Inspections: The home buyer might ask you to pay for their termite, asbestos, or lead-based paint home inspection.
  • Repair credits: Money credited to the buyer to fix issues discovered during the buyer's home inspection (in lieu of the seller making the repairs).

Real estate agent commission

  • The seller typically pays realtor commission for both their agent and the buyer's agent.
  • Total agent commission is based on the agent's negotiated commission rate and sale price.
  • Commission is paid at closing, and deducted from the sale proceeds.

Costs typically not included in a net sheet

Capital gains (if applicable)

  • You may owe capital gains tax if you sell your home less than two years after buying it.
  • The IRS allows you to write off up to $250,000 in capital gains ($500,000 for couples) after meeting the two-year requirement.
  • Check with your accountant or attorney for clarification.

» MORE: What's the tax penalty for selling a house before 2 years?

Mortgage payoff

  • Your mortgage balance is repaid at closing, but it may not be included in a net sheet.
  • The numbers will probably change due to the timing of your closing.
  • You can download your most recent mortgage statement to find your mortgage payoff amount, and deduct the figure from your net proceeds for an estimate.

Moving costs

  • Moving costs aren't part of the transaction (they come after you close). But you'll definitely want to budget for moving costs and think about whether you'll have enough left over from your net proceeds to cover these costs.
  • It costs about $1,400 on average to move nationwide. Your actual moving costs may be lower or higher that that, depending on factors like the distance of your move, if you hire pros vs. DIY, and the size of your home and amount of stuff to move.

Seller net sheet example: How to read one (VIDEO)

Here's what our net sheet covers:

  • Estimated sale price range based on the results of a CMA report.
  • Your agent pulls together the best comparables (recent sale prices of similar homes located nearby) to determine a fair market value.
  • The agent provides a range of possible sale prices (best and worst case) based on the comparable sales.

  • An estimate of possible expenses to get the house list-ready, if necessary.
  • Includes repairs like fixing an HVAC system, roof leaks, drywall repair, etc.
  • May also include house cleaning and painting.

  • Deed preparation: The cost to cover the preparation of a new deed.
  • Deed stamps: The cost to record your deed and transfer of title. Deed stamps cost $3.70 per $1,000 of sale price in South Carolina ($1,850 on a $500,000 home sale).
  • Transaction coordinator fee: Your agent's brokerage may have a transaction coordinator or administrative assistant helping your agent complete paperwork, schedule and coordinate inspections, and meet important contract deadlines.
  • Termite letter: The cost to pay the buyer's termite inspection and provide a termite clearance letter (if you agree to do so).
  • Mortgage/HOA satisfaction: Your lender may charge a small fee when your mortgage is repaid in full at closing, and if your home is located in an HOA, it may charge a small fee to set up the new homeowner.
  • Prorated taxes: The amount of tax owed for the days you lived in the home. To calculate, divide your annual taxes (ex: $3,000) by 365 to get a daily tax amount ($8.22), then multiply that figure by how many days you expect to own the home before closing (90 days = $740).
  • Negotiable costs: The buyer may ask for a home warranty (~$495, but varies by market and amount of service), or ask you to pay for their closing costs (~$5,000). It's less common in a seller's market, but your agent may include these costs to be conservative and avoid any potential surprises later on.
  • Total realtor commission: The seller often pays both agents commission. The nationwide average total commission rate is 5.49%, typically split between the seller's and buyer's agent. Check your state's average commission for an estimate, then multiply the % rate by sale price to get a commission amount. The total amount varies by sale price, is deducted from the sale price of the home, and paid at closing.
  • Estimated net before loan payoff: The amount of money a seller nets at closing after deducting closing costs and realtor commission from the home sale price.

Free net sheet download

Net sheet template

» FREE DOWNLOAD: Net sheet template

I've created a free net sheet template, based on the net sheet I use for my seller clients. You can make your copy to plug in your estimated home sale price, and change the closing costs, taxes, and fees to reflect your area.

How to get your estimated home value

You can use the numbers from a CMA report, whether you create one on your own or get a free CMA through a local realtor. Or you can get a quick ballpark estimate through an online home value estimator (Zillow, Realtor, etc).

How to estimate your closing costs

Check out our guide on how to find the typical real estate closing costs sellers pay in your area.

To find your property taxes, pull up your most recent mortgage statement, or search your local government website. Once you've got that information, you can estimate when your home might sell after listing it (2-3 months is common), to determine your prorated tax estimate.

A local realtor or title company can also help you determine your estimated closing costs.

How to get a professional net sheet for free

We recommend finding a local realtor for the most accurate net sheet estimate. Realtors will typically prepare a net sheet for free during a listing presentation or sit-down interview.

  • A local agent can give you the best home sale price estimate based on the results of a CMA report.
  • Agents will likely know what fees you'll have to pay at closing, and how much, as they can refer back to closing documents from past seller clients.
  • Agents also have professional contacts (title companies, attorneys, home inspectors) to help them estimate closing costs.
  • A realtor will also know if buyers are requesting sellers to cover a home warranty or closing costs in your market.

You can also go through Clever's free agent matching service to find a realtor:

💰Get a free net sheet from a local realtor – and save thousands on commission!

If you’re getting ready to sell and trying to wrap your head around the costs, you should consider trying Clever’s free agent matching service.

Clever matches you with vetted local agents from top brokerages like Century 21 and Keller Williams. The agents will provide a professional price estimate, seller net sheet, and talk you through their marketing plan. Then you compare and choose the best fit.

The best part: When you find your agent through Clever, instead of on your own, you get pre-negotiated discounts that can save you up to 50% on commission fees. Learn more about Clever’s free service here – or sign up below to give it a try (it’s 100% free with no obligation).

Net sheet FAQs

A net sheet in real estate is a document or spreadsheet prepared for a home seller that breaks down the seller's potential future sale proceeds, after deducting estimated closing costs and realtor commission. A net sheet is not a legal document – it's created by a realtor or title company as a courtesy for a home seller – and it doesn't include all of your possible selling expenses.

To create your own net sheet, you'll need to get an estimate of your home's potential sale price from a CMA report or online home value estimator, and estimate your closing costs and realtor commission. Watch our Net sheet video explainer to learn more, and download our free net sheet template.

Net sale proceeds, or net to seller, are the estimated amount the seller earns in a home sale after deducting closing costs and realtor commission from sale price. Net sale proceeds do not typically include mortgage loan payoff and capital gains taxes.

Net proceeds and net profit are not the same thing. Net proceeds is the amount of money transferred to a seller upon closing, while net profit factors in how much you originally paid for the home and other home expenses incurred over your years of ownership.

Why trust me

I've been a licensed real estate agent in South Carolina for 3 years (SC license number: 115238), during which time I've completed dozens of net sheets for prospective home sellers and clients. I closed 19 transactions totaling $6 million in volume between 2020-21.

During my time as a full-time agent, I had the opportunity to shadow several top-producing agents in the Charleston, S.C. market, learning how to best prepare net sheets and CMAs for sellers.

I'm proud to work for Clever Real Estate, a free agent matching service dedicated to helping people make smarter decisions and save money when buying or selling a home. Clever has also helped thousands of people, just like you, find trusted real estate agents to provide expert advice – including free pre-listing services like creating a net sheet.

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