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So, you have decided to sell your house. Of course, you know that your net proceeds will depend on the sale price less the payoff of your current mortgage. However, you should also know that there will be additional costs associated with the sale of your real estate as well. But what are those costs? The purpose of this article is to guide you as to what you should expect to incur for closing costs in the sale of your real estate.

Once you and your buyer have agreed on the sale price, you can then start deducting your costs to come up with a net figure you should expect to receive at closing. The following is a list of the customary costs you can expect to pay at closing:

1. Payoff of your Current Mortgage – This amount will include the principal balance due to your mortgage company up until the day it receives the payoff proceeds. This amount will generally be a bit higher than your current mortgage balance because interest on the loan will need to be paid up to the date the payoff is received by your lender.

2. Real Estate Sales Commission – Most likely you have listed your house with a real estate agent. If you were lucky enough to sell your house without a realtor, then there obviously will be no commission due. However, unless you are convinced you can sell your house without the valuable services of a realtor, it is probably best to list your home with a real estate agent. The real estate agent can (among other things) give you a market analysis as to what your home is worth. He or she will market your home, sit for open houses, list the house in the multiple listing service(s), show the house to prospective buyers, put your house on a real estate broker‘s tour (to show to other real estate agents working with buyers), and help you negotiate the highest sales price, all things you either cannot do, don’t want to do or don’t have time to do. That being said, plan on paying your realtor a sales commission of somewhere between 5% and 6% of the sales price. Some realtors may take a listing for slightly less or slightly more. The amount of the sales commission may also depend on the value of your home. Each real estate agent’s commission structure may vary slightly. Ask around and hire the one with whom you are most comfortable.

3. Title Insurance – You must provide your buyer with a title insurance policy. The cost of this policy will depend on the sale price of the house. At the current time, figure your title insurance fees to be around $1900 (including update fees) for a home selling for $200,000. Add another $20 for every $10,000 above that. So, for example, your title costs for a home that sells for $350,000, would be approximately $2200.

4. Attorney’s Fee – You should figure that for an ordinary customary closing, your attorney’s fee will be in the ballpark of $500. Some attorneys may charge a bit more, some may charge a bit less. Some attorneys may charge even more if the transaction is complicated or has some unusual issues associated with the sale.

5. Transfer Taxes – The State of Illinois charges a transfer tax of $1 per $1000 of the sale price. The county will charge $.50 per $1000 of the sale price. For example, a sale price of $350,000 will generate a state and county transfer tax of $525. Some villages and cities also charge a transfer tax. Some charge the buyer while some charge the seller. The Village of Arlington Heights and the Village of Palatine, for example, do not charge any local transfer tax. The Village of Mount Prospect charges a local transfer tax, but it is charge to the buyer. The Village of Berwyn charges a transfer tax of $10 per $1000 of the sale price to the Seller. To see what, if any, your municipality charges for real estate transfers, look here:

6. Survey – If you are selling a single family residence, you will have to provide your buyer with a survey of the real estate. The costs of the survey will depend on the difficulty of the survey (size, shape, location, etc.) Budget for $500, but do know that it may be slightly more or slightly less. If you are selling a condominium, you will not have to provide a survey, but you will have to provide certain condominium documents and paid assessment letter(s). The association or management company may charge you for this service (sometimes upwards of $350 or more).

7. Real Estate Property Tax Credit – Since real estate taxes in Illinois lag a year behind, you will have to credit your buyer the real estate taxes up until the day of closing. Usually, the proration will be based on somewhere between 105% and 110% of the most recent ascertainable tax bill. This is a final proration and generally not subject to re-proration unless agreed upon.

8. Well and Septic – If your home is on well and/or septic, you will have to provide your buyers with a well and septic evaluation. Figure about $400 for this.

9. Recording Fee – This is the fee charged by the county to release your current mortgage. This fee is about $50 per release.

There may be other costs associated with the sale of your home (for example, you may choose to provide your buyer with a home warranty (usually around $550)), but the list above should give you a pretty good idea of what costs you may expect to pay when selling your house.

If you have any questions about the costs associated with selling your house, feel free to call The Law Offices of Roger W. Stelk at (847) 506-7330 or (815) 240-2345. Or email at

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