Cost to sell in Massachusetts | Realtor fees | Seller closing costs | How to save | Closing cost calculator | FAQs
The average cost to sell a house in Massachusetts is 5.55% of a home’s final sale price, which includes realtor fees (4.85% of the sale price) and seller closing costs (0.7%).
Massachusetts home sellers pay an average of $30,290 to sell a home priced at $545,516 (the average statewide home sale price), according to our data.
Keep in mind that Massachusetts seller closing cost figures vary by market, and you can save big by using an agent-matching service like Clever Real Estate to sell your home. Clever has negotiated a reduced listing commission of 1.5% – far lower than the average Massachusetts rate of 2.58%.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the costs of selling a house in Massachusetts, including tips on how to save on your sale, and a home sale calculator to estimate your costs.
Average cost to sell a house in Massachusetts
|Fee type||Average fee||Average cost|
*Costs assume a sale price of $545,516. Numbers are rounded off and may not be 100% precise.
It costs Massachusetts homeowners an average of 5.55% when factoring in realtor fees and seller closing costs.
While that’s lower than the national average of 6.53%, Massachusetts has much higher home prices compared to other states, making it more expensive to sell on a total cost basis.
For example, it costs Massachusetts homeowners an average of $30,290, much higher than the average cost to sell nationwide of $21,202.
Cost to sell in Massachusetts vs. nearby states
|State||Home value||Cost to sell (%)||Cost to sell ($)|
Massachusetts’ average cost to sell as a percentage of a home sale price is 5.55%, lower than in the neighboring states of Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island, but higher than Vermont.
Factors impacting Massachusetts home sale costs
Your home’s value
Massachusetts home values vary quite a bit across the state, so your total home sale costs will also vary, since realtor fees are charged as a percentage of your home’s final sale price.
Median sale prices range from $257,628 in Springfield, to $380,678 in Worcester, and $743,093 in Boston, according to Zillow’s July 2022 home sale data.
To determine the current market value of a your home, you can ask a real estate agent for a free comparative market analysis (CMA). Most real estate agents consider it a part of their job to provide a CMA report when you ask about listing your home. (It’s a way for them to show you that they’re knowledgeable about the local market and hopefully earn your future business.)
How you find a realtor
While the state-wide average commission rate is 4.85%, which covers the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent, rates may be higher or lower depending on what’s normal in your area.
Massachusetts realtor fees are completely negotiable. You may be able to negotiate a rate lower than what’s typical in your area or hire an agent-matching service to do the negotiating work for you.
For example, you can potentially save thousands in Massachusetts realtor fees by using an agent-matching service like Clever Real Estate. Clever has pre-negotiated a 1.5% listing agent fee with agents in its network, much lower than the average Massachusetts listing agent commission rate of 2.58%.
If you need to pay optional costs
The estimated total cost to sell of 5.55% in Massachusetts doesn’t include other potential costs like home staging, deep cleaning, and pre-listing repairs and improvements, which could add thousands more to your costs.
Your negotiated contract
Massachusetts closing costs are typically split between the buyer and seller in most transactions. Sellers typically pay all commissions, realty transfer fees, recording fees, and prorated property taxes.
Home sellers may also be on the hook for attorney fees, home preparation costs, homeowners association (HOA) fees, a mortgage payoff, and any concessions to the buyer.
Buyers take on most of the other expenses including inspection costs, appraisal, and due diligence costs, owner’s title insurance, and buyer closing costs for their mortgage.
It’s important to find a good realtor to can do the negotiating work for you and get you more favorable contract terms.
1. Massachusetts realtor fees (4.85%)
Massachusetts realtor fees cost sellers an average of 4.85% of the home’s sale price, deducted from the seller’s net proceeds at closing. The fee covers both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent.
Commission fees as a dollar amount depending on your home’s value. Here’s what you might expect to pay at various price points.
Massachusetts realtor fee example
|City||Median sale price||Commission cost|
*Median sale prices as of July 2022 according to Zillow data. Commission costs assume an average realtor commission of 4.85%.
Average Massachusetts realtor fees range from $12,469 to $50,144, which includes both the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent commission, which sellers are responsible for. But you can shop around for savings or negotiate a lower rate with an agent.
How to save on Massachusetts realtor fees
Use a discount broker
A discount real estate broker is a company that offers sellers a reduced commission fee with no strings attached. The broker’s listing agents charge less than the average rate, such as a 1–2% listing fee vs. the typical 2.5%–3% rate.
Selling at a higher price point leads to even bigger commission savings using a discount broker vs. finding a realtor through traditional sources, like through a family member or friend.
For example, Clever offers listing fees of just 1.5%, compared to the average Massachusetts listing commission rate of 2.58%.
Agents that partner with these firms also provide all of the services you get from a traditional realtor. The service is free to try with no obligation, so it’s worth starting out here.
List your home without a realtor
You can avoid paying Massachusetts listing commission entirely by selling on your own. Expect to save 2.58% off of your home sale.
However, the typical FSBO home sells for nearly $60,000 less than agent-listed homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. Many sellers actually end up losing money by going to FSBO-route.
Selling FSBO also requires a ton of your own time and effort, so weigh the pros and cons carefully before moving forward.
Sell to an iBuyer
Selling a home on the public market can take a month or two at a minimum, from listing your home to closing on the sale.
If that’s not fast enough for you, consider selling your home to an iBuyer. These companies make near-instant cash offers and can buy homes in as fast as a week, and typically offer more money than home flippers.
» LEARN: The Top 3 iBuyer Companies
Negotiate a lower rate
There’s no law setting a fixed realtor fee in Massachusetts, so you can try to negotiate a lower realtor fee with agents.
However, negotiating commission on your own isn’t simple. It’s more likely to work on a high-value property, since the listing agent will still earn a substantial commission on the home sale, despite the lower rate.
You also have more wiggle room to reduce the commission rate if you plan to buy a new home with the same agent that’s helping you sell, but it depends on what the agent is willing to accept.
2. Seller closing costs in Massachusetts (0.7%)
Seller closing costs typically add another cost of 0.7% or more to your home’s final sale price.
Based on the average Massachusetts home value of $545,516, the typical home seller pays $3,833 in closing costs.
Massachusetts seller closing costs often include:
- Attorney fees, as Massachusetts sellers are required to hire an attorney.
- Title company fees, owner’s title insurance, and title examination.
- Prorated property taxes.
- Deed preparation, transfer taxes, recording fees.
- Homeowners Association (HOA) fees.
- Mortgage payoff.
Massachusetts home buyers typically handle the survey fee, appraisal fee, and their own attorneys’ fees, if applicable.
Transfer taxes (0.46%)
The state transfer tax rate is $4.56 per $1,000, based on your home’s final sale price. For example, if you sell your home for $300,000, you’ll pay $1,368 in transfer taxes.
On average, Massachusetts sellers pay a transfer tax rate of 0.46% and an average cost of $2,488, according to our data. This is lower than the national average cost of $1,467.
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 pay a total of $7.71 per $1,000 in taxes.) Sellers in Barnstable County pay an average transfer tax bill of $4,965, based on the average home value of approximately $644,126.
Both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket impose a 2% Land Bank tax — but it’s the buyer’s responsibility to pay this fee.
Sellers can expect to pay a $105 recording fee statewide. This cost is also known as a mortgage discharge, release, or partial release fee.
Recording fees ensure that when you sell your home, you’ll be released from your mortgage — allowing you to transfer ownership to the buyer.
Prorated property taxes
Home sellers are required to pay property taxes on the days they’ve owned their home in the calendar year. Taxes are prorated and split between the seller and buyer.
The pro-rated tax is due at closing. Actual costs depend on your annual taxes, and how many days you live in your home up until the closing date.
We highly recommend consulting with a realtor or attorney for more details on prorated taxes and how much you might owe at closing.
3. Other potential costs
Massachusetts homeowners are required to hire a real estate attorney to handle the closing.
Real estate attorneys review all of your contracts and legal documents and can protect you from potential issues that may arise during your sale. A good attorney can help you properly fill out a Massachusetts residential property disclosure form, for example.
Seller attorney fees usually range from between $900 to $1,100 in Massachusetts, according to Tim Sherman Law, based in Hingham, MA.
» MORE: Do I Need a Lawyer to Sell My House?
Home preparation costs
Home preparation costs are optional, but could add thousands more to your total upfront costs.
For example, home staging costs an average of $1,722 in the country, but could cost up to $3,000 or more depending on how many rooms need to be furnished and the size of your home.
Other potential home prep costs include:
- Deep cleaning ($300 – $500);
- Pre-listing repairs and improvements ($500 – $5,000);
- Landscaping ($100 – $500);
- Pre-listing home appraisal ($400 – $600).
Homeowners association dues
You may owe homeowners association (HOA) dues if your property is located in an HOA community. Massachusetts homeowners are typically responsible for covering a prorated amount of their annual membership dues at closing.
Sellers usually cover any fees charged to transfer homeownership records to the buyer at closing. Costs vary between communities, but they generally range from $150 to $500.
Check with your agent, attorney, or HOA board for more information on what you might owe.
Massachusetts buyer’s closing costs
Home buyers may request that you cover some of their closing costs, also referred to as seller concessions.
Seller concessions often come in the form of seller credits towards the buyer’s closing costs — 2% to 3% of the home’s sale price is common. A home buyer might just ask you for a $3,000 to $5,000 credit at closing, for example.
However, this practice is more common in the real estate market favoring buyers over sellers. Ask your real estate agent for more advice on what’s typical in your market.
A buyer may ask you to pay for a 1-year home warranty to offer some protection from high repair costs on major appliances, electrical and plumbing systems, and other major components of the house.
The annual premium for a home warranty in Massachusetts is $708, according to Review Home Warranties.
Home inspection fees
Home buyers usually pay for home inspections in Massachusetts, with a standard inspection costing between $350 to $500. Some home buyers may request you to cover this cost via a credit at closing.
Home buyers may also request you to pay for a termite inspection, which typically costs between $75 to $150, according to HomeGuide.
Capital gains tax
The IRS offers a tax break on capital gains from the sale of your primary residence, as long as you meet certain requirements:
- Single homeowners can deduct up to $250,000 of gains, while married couples can deduct up to $500,000.
- You must have occupied the property for at least two of the past five years to qualify.
- You can also deduct certain repairs and improvements from your home’s cost basis.
» LEARN: How to avoid capital gains on a home sale
Massachusetts closing cost calculator
Our cost to sell calculator provides you with a rough estimate of what you might walk away with in your home sale, based on the average home sale price and statewide cost to sell estimates.
For more accurate numbers, we recommend finding a local realtor to provide you with a free seller’s net sheet.
Does the seller pay closing costs in Massachusetts?
Buyers and sellers have separate closing costs in Massachusetts. Prorated property taxes are split between both parties. Sellers are usually responsible for paying all realtor commissions, title search fees, transfer taxes, and recording fees. However, actual costs depend on your location and what's negotiated in your contract. Learn more about seller closing costs.
What are typical closing costs in Massachusetts?
It costs sellers an average of .70% of a home's final sale price in closing costs, not including realtor commissions, which adds another 5% or so to the total cost to sell. In total, Massachusetts home sellers pay about 5.5% to sell a home, or $32,000 on the typical home sale. Learn more about the costs to sell a house in Massachusetts.
How much taxes do I pay on my home sale?
You may or may not owe taxes on your home sale, depending on how long you've owned the home, and how much it has increased in value since acquiring it. We discuss how to avoid capital gains tax on your home sale.
How much are Massachusetts realtor fees?
Massachusetts realtor fees vary by city, but cost less than 5% of a home's sale price statewide, which covers both the seller's agent and the buyer's agent. It costs sellers an average of nearly $29,000 in realtor fees on the typical home sale.
However, realtor fees are completely negotiable, and there are easy ways to save thousands on Massachusetts realtor fees.
The True Costs of Selling a Home Revealed. What does it really cost to sell a house in the U.S.? We explore all of the common expenses in a home sale, and how you can save thousands.
How to Find a Realtor. Learn how you can connect with a great real estate agent. We help you zero in on the best approach, whether you’re selling or buying, and how to save money in the process.
How to Sell a House Without a Realtor in Massachusetts. Learn whether or not you should sell your house with or without the help of an agent, and how much you can really save.
Seller Net Sheet Guide. How does a net sheet help you estimate your potential home sale proceeds? Find out here.
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