Average Cost to Sell a House in California

Alex Long

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Alex Long

September 1st, 2022
Updated September 1st, 2022

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Find out the average cost of selling a house in California

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According to our data, the average cost to sell your home in California costs about 9.64% of your final sale price. A large chunk of those expenses comes from realtor commissions, which usually total 5–6% of your sale price (about half of that is the listing commission, and the other half is the buyer's agent commission).

Is the cost to sell a home more expensive than you thought? Fortunately, Clever Real Estate can help! We've negotiated a reduced listing commission of 1% (or $3,000 if the home sells for less than $350,000).

For the average California homeowner selling a home worth $775,876, that means you could save $11,638 when selling your home with Clever!

💰 Compare hand-picked agents, sell for 1%

Find top-rated agents from local brokerages, and get pre-negotiated listing fees of just 1%.

Clever's service is 100% free, with zero obligation. Interview as many agents as you like until you find the perfect fit — or walk away at any time.

Average cost to sell a house in California

The cost to sell your California home will depend a lot on the sale price and the condition of the home. While your total out-of-pocket costs will vary based on your situation, you should expect 9.64% or more of your home’s final sale price to go towards selling costs. If you sell your home for $775,876 — the median home value in California — you'll likely spend $74,808.

To see for sure what you'll spend to sell your California home, check out our home selling calculator.

Common expenses for home sellers in California

The chart below breaks down some of the most common expenses for home sellers in California to help you prepare for the most (and least) costly aspects of selling your home.

Keep in mind these costs are highly variable — particularly the home prep and relocation expenses. Talk to your realtor for a more accurate and tailored estimate of your costs versus final sale price.

Common expenses
Estimated cost*
$200 to $9,895
4.09% to 5.73%
$5,526 to $23,447
$739 to $5,773
Average total
$38,199 to $83,573
*Based on a $775,876 home — a typical home value in California, (Zillow Research data, August 31, 2022)

While repairs, closings costs, and relocation expenses may be out of your control, you can still save money on realtor fees by either selling for sale by owner (FSBO) or hiring a discount real estate broker.

But your best option is to work with a company like Clever that negotiates lower commissions with full service, local agents on your behalf. That way you can save money while getting the same level of service as someone who pays full price!

How much will I make selling my California house?

If you don't have a mortgage, you'll get the entire sale price minus the costs of selling your home. That means you could take home $701,068 if you sell your home for $775,876 and pay 9.64% to sell it.

You may owe money on the property, which will reduce the amount you make selling your home. The average California homeowner owes $371,981 on their mortgage, which cuts into the amount that will land in your bank account.

» MORE: See what other factors affect your home sale profit

Cost of selling a house calculator

Use this cost of selling a house calculator to get a better idea of how much you'll have to spend to sell your home — and how much you'll take home after!

Home selling costs in California: An in-depth breakdown

🚨 Disclaimer: We’ve compiled an overview of some of the most common home selling costs in California. This guide is not 100% comprehensive, and actual costs will vary from one house to another. Talk to your real estate agent and lender for the most accurate sense of how much it will cost to sell your home.

Preparing your home for sale

Unless you’re planning to sell your California house “as-is” or to an iBuyer, you should expect to spend about $9,895, on average, to get your home market-ready to attract qualified buyers.

» MORE: Specific costs of prepping your home

This could involve simple tasks like mowing your lawn, deep cleaning your house, and getting rid of clutter. Some homes may require more involved preparation like making repairs or painting. Using a service like TaskRabbit is a great way to get some help with these home prep tasks without breaking the bank.

🌟 Ask an expert

Structural pest repairs can be a hidden cost that sellers aren't always ready for. Getting an inspection, particularly for older homes with wood siding, can let sellers know if this is going to be an issue or not.

  • Valerie Grossman, HomeSmart ICARE Realty, Roseville, CA

Realtor fees in California

One of the biggest fees for selling a house in California will be realtor commission. In a standard real estate transaction — one involving two traditional, full-price agents — you will likely be on the hook for covering the full commission fee for both agents.

Realtor fees in California
% of sale price
Cost*
Listing fee
2.50%
$19,397
Buyer's agent fee
2.41%
$18,699
Average total
4.91%
$38,096
*Based on a $775,876 home — a typical home value in California, (Zillow Research data, August 31, 2022)

» LEARN: How realtor commission is split in a home sale

Based on the median home value in California, that comes to roughly $38,096 — potentially more than half of your total home selling expenses!

But you don't have to pay that much. Clever negotiates discounts with top listing agents that can save you thousands of dollars when you sell your home!

💰 Clever pre-negotiates low commission rates for you!

List with the best agents in your area for just $3,000 or 1%:

  • Sell with a full-service agent from a top brokerage
  • No upfront fees — you only pay when your home sells
  • Our agent matching service is 100% free with zero obligation

Closing costs

Closing costs are a blanket term for the various fees and expenses (not including realtor commission) both buyers and sellers pay at the close of a real estate transaction.

Common closing costs in California
Typical % of sale price
Estimated total*
Title insurance (owner's policy)
0.17%
$1,338
Title insurance (lender's policy)
N/A
Typically paid by buyer
Transfer tax
0.11%
$853
Title fees
0.32%
$2,471
Recording fee
0.03%
$244
Buyer incentives
2%
$15,518
Average total
2.71%
$21,044
*Based on a $775,876 home — a typical home value in California, (Zillow Research data, August 31, 2022)

Expect to pay roughly 2.71% of your home’s final sale price at closing. Based on the average home value in California of $775,876, that translates to $21,044.

Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to negotiate for the buyer to pay them. However, it's common for buyers to ask sellers to pay their closing costs to seal the deal. Talk to your realtor to get a sense of how much you should expect to pay in closing costs.

» MORE: How much are seller closing costs in California?

The buyer may ask you to offer incentives or make concessions to ensure the deal goes through. These could include things like covering inspection fees, certain closing costs, repair credits, offering a home warranty, etc.

If you have a quality home in a competitive market, like San Francisco, you'll be in a position to negotiate terms that are favorable to your situation and get you the most money. In a tougher market, you may need to sweeten the deal to attract the highest offers.

» MORE: When you can save money in negotiations

🌟 Ask an expert

Sometimes, sellers are better off setting a slightly lower asking price and letting their agent get them a better deal by negotiating for them once they've gained the interest of prospective buyers.

  • Jose Roberto Samano, eXp Realty, San Ramon, CA

Moving expenses

If you're selling your own home, you'll have to pay to move your possessions. This could include hiring professional movers and spending thousands of dollars for a long-distance move.

Even moving yourself locally could require renting a truck, moving equipment, and possibly a storage unit if you don't already have a place lined up for your possessions.

In California, the average moving costs are $739 locally and $5,773 for 1,000 miles or more — which accounts for packing supplies, movers, and carrying costs.

» MORE: See how much the average seller spends on moving expenses

How to avoid losing money on your California home sale

Whether you’re selling a mansion in Los Angeles, a beachfront condo in San Diego, or a single family home in Bakersfield, these tips will help you maximize your profits from your California home sale!

1. List with a low commission real estate agent

Realtor commission fees are a huge expense for California home sellers, often making up a large portion of your total selling costs. Thankfully, finding a way to save on commission is one of the best ways to make more money when you sell your home!

You can negotiate commission rates on your own, but the easiest option is to find a low commission real estate agent through an agent-matching company like Clever.

Clever matches you with local full-service agents from well-known brokerages like RE/MAX, Keller Williams, and Century 21. But, instead of paying the typical 2.50% listing fee, you'll only pay 1% or $3,000 (for homes under $350,000)! On average, sellers save over $11,638 on realtor fees!

With Clever, you can also compare multiple California agents to find the one that best fits your needs. Even better, finding an agent through Clever won't cost you a dime, and there's no obligation to move forward until you find the perfect agent.

Work with a full service agent for only 1% or $3,000!

Clever negotiates discounted listing fees with top agents to help you save money when selling your home!

2. Time your sale to get top dollar for your California home

The best time of year to sell your home in California is usually between April and June. Homes that sell in June tend to go for about $21,500 more than the annual average, and homes sold in May sell about 8 days faster than usual.

» MORE: When is the best time to sell a house in California?

However, sellers can have a successful sale even outside the busiest months!

Your best bet is to work with a great California real estate agent who knows your local area trends. They can create a pricing and marketing strategy to increase competition among buyers so you maximize your profits.

3. Negotiate like a pro

Buyers may request you pay for repairs, closing costs, a home warranty, and the title search, among other things.

The right negotiation techniques can help you minimize the costs you’re responsible for and make your home sale as profitable as possible.

Using a top-rated real estate agent can be an invaluable resource when it comes to negotiating, as they'll do most of the back-and-forth for you.

» MORE: Negotiate so both the seller and buyer get something they want

If you can't get out of paying for repairs, we recommend letting HomeAdvisor connect you with top local professionals so you can compare quotes and get the best possible price.

4. Save on repairs and upgrades

You can lower the cost of new appliances for your property by using companies like Whirlpool that give you 10% off when you buy two or more full-priced items.

You can also cut down on labor costs by using services like TaskRabbit. Whether it be cleaning, landscaping, installing appliances, or moving, TaskRabbit can connect you with people in your area who will help for less than a full-time professional would charge.

FAQs about costs to sell in California

On average, closing costs tend to be about 2.71% of a home's sale price in California. That said, you should also consider realtor fees, which average another 4.91% of your sale price and account for the majority of your expenses.

The average home seller in California spends about $74,808, or 9.64% of the sale price. This will vary quite a bit depending on the sale price and condition of your house, however. Working with an agent who offers a discounted rate is a great way to keep this number down.

In 2021, the average California home seller made about $701,068 on their home sale before paying off their existing mortgage, if they had one. For a more specific idea of what you can expect to walk away with, check out our home sale proceeds calculator.

Additional resources for California home sellers

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