Selling a house in Washington D.C. can be expensive. Between repairs, realtor commissions, closing costs, moving fees, and more, your total expenses can easily eat up 9.69% or more of your home’s final sale price.
While you may not be able to avoid some costs completely, there is one way to save big when you sell in Washington D.C..
Clever Real Estate can help you save thousands on realtor fees. With Clever, you'll work with a full-service agent from a top brokerage, but pay only 1% or $3,000 to list your home. For a typical home in Washington D.C., that could save you $8,126 and reduce your cost to sell by over 15%!
Average cost to sell a house in Washington D.C.
Your total out-of-pocket costs will vary based on your situation, but you should expect for around 9.69% of your home’s final sale price to go towards selling costs. If you sell your home for $552,793 — the median home value in Washington D.C. — you'll likely spend $53,572.
Here's how much you can expect to pay at different price points based on the average cost to sell a house in Washington D.C..
Cost to sell
Common expenses for home sellers in Washington D.C.
The chart below breaks down some of the most common expenses for home sellers in Washington D.C..
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.
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.
How much will I make selling my Washington D.C. house?
How much money you pocket after selling your house will depend on several factors, including:
- How you choose to sell your home (realtor, cash buyer, for sale by owner, etc.)
- Which repairs and improvements you do to prep your home for sale
- Whether you make any concessions or offer incentives to buyers
- State and local taxes and closing costs
- Your remaining mortgage balance
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 $499,221 if you sell your home for $552,793 and pay 9.69% to sell it.
But you may owe money on the property or have other unique expenses that impact your overall cost to sell.
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 Washington D.C.: An in-depth breakdown
Preparing your home for sale: Varies
At minimum, you’ll want to invest in some basic pre-listing improvements to maximize your home value. The table below breaks down some of the most common professional pre-listing expenses. And even if you decide to go the DIY route, remember to budget a few hundred dollars for supplies.
Home prep expense
Average project cost
$102 per hour
» LEARN MORE: What home improvements to make before selling
Realtor fees in Washington D.C.: 4.96%
Realtor fees in Washington D.C.
% of sale price
Buyer’s agent commission
Realtor fees are one of the biggest costs for selling a house in Washington D.C.. 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.
The average real estate commission in Washington D.C. is between 4.34% and 5.57% of the home’s final selling price and is typically split between the two agents handling the sale.
Based on the median home value in Washington D.C., that comes to roughly $27,419.
Closing costs: 2.58%
Common closing costs in Washington D.C.
Typical % of sale price
Title insurance (owner's policy)
Title insurance (lender's policy)
Typically paid by buyer
Title service fees
Typically paid by buyer
Attorney fees (optional)
$300 per hour
Closing costs are a blanket term for the various fees and expenses (not including realtor commission) paid at the close of a real estate transaction.
Expect to pay roughly 2.58% of your home’s final sale price at closing. Based on the average home value in Washington D.C. of $552,793, that translates to $14,257.
Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to negotiate for the buyer to pay some of them. However, it's just as common for buyers to ask sellers to pay their closing costs to seal the deal.
Moving expenses: ~1%
Depending on factors like the distance of your move, how much you want to DIY, and how much stuff you have, these expenses can really add up.
Moreover, don’t forget to account for potential overlap periods. If there’s a gap between when you move out of your current home and close on your new one, you may need to pay for a storage space and/or temporary housing. Or you may have to pay carrying costs (e.g., utilities, HOA fees, property taxes, etc.) on two properties at once.
How to avoid losing money on your Washington D.C. home sale
Whether you’re selling a rowhouse in Petworth, a condo in Chinatown, or a mansion in Georgetown, these tips will help you earn top dollar for your District of Columbia home!
1. List with a low commission real estate agent
Realtor commission fees are a huge expense for Washington D.C. 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.
» LEARN MORE: Ways to save money when selling your house
2. Negotiate like a pro
Negotiating is a delicate balance between getting as much money as you can for your home and keeping the buyer happy and interested.
Buyers may request you pay for repairs, closing costs, or a home warranty. These fees can add up quickly and eat into your profits if you're not careful.
3. Time your sale to get top dollar for your Washington D.C. home
To maximize your profit when selling a home in Washington, D.C., it’s best to sell in June. Based on local market trends, houses will typically sell for a few thousand more compared to other months. On the other hand, those that want to sell quickly should list in October, as homes sell almost twice as fast as the slowest month of January.
We could attribute the largest factor to why these trends occur to timing and the weather. In June, the start of classes is looming, so buyers are more aggressive in their hunt for a suitable home. Meanwhile, the active market in October is largely because no one wants to search for homes in winter, so buyers become more aggressive to find a place before the cold hits.
To have an easier chance of selling, do any renovations or repairs early and market your home aggressively. With trends like these, competition is usually also high, so you’ll need to make sure your listing stands out.
Better yet, work with an experienced realtor — they can help you price your home to attract buyers while still ensuring that you get the most profit possible for your home. Besides that, local agents know your area intimately, and can provide more concrete advice regarding your city’s market.
Our data on the costs to sell a home are compiled from the following sources:
- Home values (Zillow, August 31, 2022)
- Average real estate commissions (Clever Real Estate, survey of 630 agents)
- Service costs like attorney fees, photography, movers, title insurance, etc. were compiled from over 8,500 professional service quotes
- Tax rates are based on publicly available information
FAQs about costs to sell in Washington D.C.
Realtor fees will be your biggest selling expense in Washington D.C. making up 51% of your total selling costs! Paying less in realtor commissions is the best way to save money when you sell your home. You could try to sell your home without a realtor, but you take on a lot more risk. Your best option is to work with a low commission realtor who will give you the same level of service as a traditional agent for a fraction of the cost. Find the best low commission companies here
You should expect to pay about 2.58% of your home's final sale price in closing costs, plus 4.96% in realtor fees when you sell a house in Washington D.C.. However, your actual closing costs will vary depending on your situation and working with a local realtor can help you better estimate your costs.