According to our research, a typical Massachusetts homeowner can expect to pay 4.3-7.4% of their property’s final sale price in home-selling costs.
Read on to learn more about home preparation costs, typical realtor commission rates, and how much you can expect to pay at closing in Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
- Average Cost to Sell a Home in Massachusetts
- Preparing to Sell
- Real Estate Commission
- Seller Closing Costs
- Home Selling Costs in Massachusetts by City
Average Cost to Sell a Home in Massachusetts
Our research shows that sellers in Massachusetts spend between 4.3% and 7.4% of a home’s sale price on expenses involved in the transaction.
Currently, Massachusetts’ average home value is approximately $464,000. A seller at this price point should expect to spend between $20,000 and $34,000 in the process of selling their home.
Although this is no small amount of money, the cost is spread across three important categories of expenses:
- Realtor commission ($18,000 – $21,000)
- Closing costs ($2,000 – $13,000)
- Miscellaneous preparation expenses, such as repairs ($0 – $4,000)
|Cost||Percentage of sale price|
|Seller closing costs||0.5-2.8%|
|Preparing to sell||Varies*|
* Home preparation costs can vary greatly depending on your home and its condition: some will need major repairs before being listed, while others are better off being sold as is.
Keep in mind that you’ll also need to factor in your mortgage payoff while calculating your earnings from a sale.
This will depend on numerous factors, including your original down payment, years of monthly payments, and interest rate.
Preparing to Sell in Massachusetts
Before you put your home on the market, you’ll want to make sure to present it in the best possible light.
In fact, sellers in Boston spend $5,495 prepare their home for sale, according to a recent Zillow study.
However, the true cost of preparing your home for sale will vary considerably, depending on its condition.
For example, your home might just need a deep clean and declutter to appear picture-perfect. Older homes might benefit from a fresh coat of paint, new grout, or refreshed carpet.
Is it Worth Upgrading Your Home Before You Sell?
Although you might feel pressure to offer brand-new appliances or big ticket upgrades, research shows that upgrades rarely result in a higher sale price.
This holds true in New England, according to a national survey by RemodelMAX. The highest value upgrade — garage door replacement — still only recoups 99.5% of the cost.
|Highest Value Home Upgrades (Cost)||Return on Investment (ROI)|
|Garage Door Replacement ($3,732)||99.5%|
|Manufactured Stone Veneer ($9,626)||87.8%|
|Siding Replacement – Vinyl ($15,115)||76.6%|
|Window Replacement – Wood ($21,760)||75.4%|
|Minor Kitchen Remodel – Midrange ($24,094)||74.2%|
Before pouring thousands of dollars into a major renovation, talk to your agent. They’ll be able to advise you about what’s likely to pay off, based on other homes in your area.
What Should I Fix Before I Sell My Home?
While aesthetic upgrades are largely optional, sellers may face bigger home maintenance issues that might need to be repaired before listing.
For example, a leaky roof or persistent plumbing problems might scare buyers away. These types of complications fall into the realm of material defects that will likely come up during the inspection.
If your home requires costly repairs that are out of your budget, it may make more sense to sell your house as-is.
What Am I Required to Disclose to Buyers?
When it comes to material defects, Massachusetts is a caveat emptor state — in other words, buyer beware.
By law, sellers only have to disclose two things:
- Lead paint
- A septic system
All other disclosures are optional. However, if a buyer asks you a question about your home, you are required to answer truthfully.
Even though you don’t have to disclose defects up front, there are some major benefits to doing so. Your home inspection will likely surface the needed repairs anyway, and an unexpected issue could completely derail the sale.
Common disclosures include:
- Problems with hot water or plumbing
- Water damage
- Structural problems
If you’re not sure what to proactively disclose to buyers, you can use Massachusetts’ Sellers Statement of Property Condition form as a guide.
Real Estate Commission in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, the average commission is 3.8-4.6% of the total sale price.
This is slightly lower than the national average of 5.45%. The current seller’s market may give you a bit more room to negotiate commission with your realtor.
The state’s median home value is approximately $464,000, so you would pay about $18,000-21,000 in commission.
|Sale Price||Realtor Commission Cost|
Although commission is a major cost for sellers, the good news is that there are many ways to save.
Discount brokers offer full service with savings built in. These companies offer lower commission rates than traditional agents, while still providing the same suite of services.
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Our friends at Clever Real Estate negotiate with top-performing agents so you don’t have to. Start saving thousands today.
If you decide not to work with an agent, you can also pursue a for sale by owner (FSBO) transaction. Flat-fee listing services can help you promote your home across Zillow, Redfin, and other popular sites, as well as your region’s MLS.
Seller Closing Costs in Massachusetts
Closing costs represent the second major group of expenses sellers encounter during a transaction. In Massachusetts, sellers’ closing costs amount to approximately 0.5-2.8% of the sale price.
These costs include taxes, paperwork, and other administrative work involved in transferring ownership from the seller to the buyer.
Buyers in Massachusetts typically cover most closing costs, including title insurance and settlement fees.
Transfer Taxes (0.46-0.77%)
When you sell your home, you’ll be responsible for paying transfer taxes. In Massachusetts, this is also known as a deed stamp.
The state transfer tax rate is $4.56 per $1,000, based on your home’s sale price. For example, if you sell your home for $300,000, you’ll pay $1,368 in transfer taxes.
Several counties also charge their own taxes on top of the state rate.
Barnstable County — which spans Cape Cod — charges an additional $3.06 per $1,000. (In other words, sellers there will pay a total of $7.71 per $1,000 in taxes.) Based on the average home value of approximately $464,000, this would result in a tax bill of $3,577.
Recording Fees ($105)
Across the entire state of Massachusetts, sellers can expect to pay a $105 recording fee. This cost is also known as a mortgage discharge, release or partial release.
Although this is a relatively small fee in the scheme of things, it’s an important one. It ensures that when you sell your home, you’ll be released from your mortgage — allowing you to transfer ownership to the buyer.
Seller Concessions (Varies)
In some cases, buyers negotiate concessions that impact the seller’s bottom line. Most of the time, concessions take the form of a credit — often in the realm of 0-2% — that reduces the buyer’s closing costs.
For example, let’s say your home needs some major repairs you can’t afford to make. Instead, the buyer might request a credit equivalent to the cost of those repairs.
In other cases, a buyer might negotiate the timeline of a sale, requesting an earlier or later closing date. Concessions can even veer into quirkier realms, such as including a home’s blinds or curtains in the sale.
Massachusetts currently has a seller’s market, which may make concessions less likely to come up. Given the choice, most sellers prefer offers that aren’t complicated by concessions — so buyers are less likely to ask for them in a competitive market.
But if you’re struggling to sell your home, strategic concessions may sweeten the deal for buyers who are otherwise on the fence.
Average Home Selling Costs in Massachusetts: By City
While average costs can be a helpful starting point, the exact numbers will vary by location. Massachusetts offers a wide range of cities, towns, and villages, each with a unique local market and price point.
Below, we’ve gathered estimates of how much it costs to sell a home in Massachusetts’ three largest cities by population.
Cost to Sell a House in Boston
- Approximate median home value: $654,000
- Average real estate commission in Boston: $25,000-30,000
- Seller closing costs: $3,268
- Typical Boston homesellers can expect to pay around $28,000-33,000 to sell their home
Cost to Sell a House in Worcester
- Approximate median home value: $295,000
- Average real estate commission in Worcester: $11,000-14,000
- Seller closing costs: $1,476
- Typical Worcester homesellers can expect to pay around $13,000-15,000 to sell their home
Cost to Sell a House in Springfield
- Approximate median home value: $196,000
- Average real estate commission in Springfield: $7,000-9,000
- Seller closing costs: $982
- Typical Springfield homesellers can expect to pay around $8,000-10,000 to sell their home
Home selling prices provided are estimated that are meant to give prospective home sellers a ballpark figure of their costs.
We used the following datasets to provide the analysis in this article:
- Home values: Zillow Home Value data collected in October 2020
- Realtor commission: From our survey of four Massachusetts real estate agents
- Seller closing costs: From our dataset of hundreds of pricing quotes from major title companies in Massachusetts