How Much Does it Cost to Sell a House in Washington D.C.? (2022 Updates!)

Kristen Klempert

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Kristen Klempert

September 1st, 2022
Updated September 1st, 2022

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Average cost to sell a house in Washington D.C. | Cost to sell calculator | Home selling expenses | Prep costs | Realtor fees | Closing costs | Moving expenses | Tips for saving $$$

Find out the average cost of selling a house in Washington, D.C.

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%!

» SAVE: List your home for 1% or $3,000 today!

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..

Sale price
Cost to sell
$500,000
$48,455
$750,000
$72,683
$1,000,000
$96,911

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.

Common expenses
Estimated cost
$200 to $6,382
🏘️ Realtor fees
$23,991 to $30,791
$3,201 to $16,657
$727 to $5,514
Total
$28,119 to $59,344

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.

💰 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
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  • On average, Clever sellers save $9,000 on commission

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

🚨 Disclaimer: We’ve compiled an overview of some of the most common home selling costs in Washington D.C.. This guide is not 100% comprehensive, and actual costs will vary from situation to situation. 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: Varies

Unless you’re planning to sell your Washington D.C. house as is or to a cash buyer, you’ll need to spend some money to get your home market-ready to attract qualified buyers.

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
Home staging
$959
Cleaning service
$125
Handyman
$102 per hour
Interior repaint
$2,041
Exterior repaint
$2,295
Photography
$150

» 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
Cost
Listing commission
2.47%
$13,654
Buyer’s agent commission
2.49%
$13,765
Total
4.96%
$27,419

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.

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Closing costs: 2.58%

Common closing costs in Washington D.C.
Estimated cost
Typical % of sale price
Title insurance (owner's policy)
$1,500
0.27%
Title insurance (lender's policy)
Typically paid by buyer
N/A
Title service fees
$1,391
0.25%
Transfer tax
Typically paid by buyer
1.45%
Recording fees
$50
0.01%
Attorney fees (optional)
$300 per hour
N/A
Buyer incentives
$11,056
2%
Total
$14,257
2.58%

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.

» READ: How much are seller closing costs in Washington D.C.?

Don't forget property taxes

At closing, you'll also pay prorated property taxes. The total amount will depend on when you sell your home and where you live in Washington D.C.. The overall average rate for property taxes in Washington D.C. is 0.57%, however it varies greatly across the state. For example, in #REF!, the property tax rate is 0.56%, but in #REF!, it's 0.56%.

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.

Common relocation expenses
Cost
Movers
$105 per hour
Overlap and carrying costs
$104 per day

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.

» READ: How to successfully sell your home

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.

» MORE: When is the best time to sell a house in Washington D.C.?

Methodology

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.

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.

Additional resources for Washington D.C. home sellers

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