These hidden home sale costs will steal $18,000 from you

The housing market is on fire in many cities, meaning homeowners stand to make a pretty penny selling a home these days. Just don’t expect to keep all the money when you unload your home.

Selling costs will eat up a big chunk of it — $18,342, on average, according a recent analysis from Zillow.

These selling costs are common but often overlooked by sellers. They include expenses associated with preparing a home for sale — for example, painting, staging, carpet cleaning and yard work — as well as real estate agent commissions and transfer or sales taxes.

Folks in the U.S. who hire professional help spend an average of $4,985 preparing their property for sale, according to the analysis. Once the house sells, they spend an average of $13,357 on commissions and taxes.

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Like property prices themselves, though, these costs associated with selling a home can vary widely across the U.S.

Within the 35 largest metropolitan areas, selling costs are highest in three California cities. Selling expenses total:

  1. $81,507 in San Jose, California

  2. $63,087 in San Francisco

  3. $44,251 in Los Angeles

Looking at the 35 largest metros, selling expenses are lowest in Midwestern cities. They total:

  1. $12,986 in Cleveland

  2. $13,010 in St. Louis

  3. $13,424 in Indianapolis

Keep in mind that these figures are all averages, though. This means you can walk away from a home sale with more money after selling costs if you do your homework.

For example, sellers who make shrewd choices about the home improvement projects they pursue before selling can increase their profit. And sellers who learn how to negotiate discounts on closing costs like real estate commissions likely will spend less than average on selling expenses.

More from MoneyTalksNews:
How to Save Thousands When Selling Your Home
Selling Your Home — Here’s How to Create Maximum Curb Appeal
The Home Remodeling Projects With the Best Payback

What has your experience been with home selling expenses? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.