Top 15 Cities With the Highest Hidden Costs for Home Sellers

Selling your home isn’t cheap. Most people fail to account for closing costs and other hidden fees when they’re calculating what kind of profits they’ll make on their home sale. And since 61% of sellers have never sold a house before, these numbers can come as a real shock.

But while the national average for closing costs is right around $15,000 for a $200,000 property, that number can vary wildly depending on what city you happen to live in. If you reside in one of the hottest housing markets in the country, you’re going to pay a boatload of “hidden” fees, including prepping your home for the market, commissions, and transfer taxes.

Just how much can you expect to pay when you’re selling your house? Read on to discover the 15 American cities with the highest amount of hidden fees, courtesy of Zillow Research.

15. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

You’ll shell out more than $20,000 to sell your home in Philadelphia. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $21,315

Home selling fees in Philadelphia are way higher than the national average. Expect to pay around $13,500 in commission fees, $3,375 for transfer taxes, and $4,440 prepping all those little things you’ve been neglecting that buyers will want you to fix.

Next: This Lonestar city has a lot of fees.

14. Austin, Texas

Austin Texas Green Modern Crown Jewel the Texas Hill Country Capital City of ATX

Austin’s real estate market is booming. | RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $21,450

With a thriving cultural scene, Austin is one of the most desirable areas of Texas, and the real estate market reflects that. You probably won’t have a hard time finding a buyer for your Austin abode, but you will pay around $16,890 in commission fees and $4,560 to get your home ready to sell. Thankfully, there are no transfer taxes to worry about here.

Next: It’s not as cheap as you think to sell your house in this city.

13. Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida,

Taxes, commissions, and home prep will all take a bite out of your profit in Miami.| SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $21,722

If you want to sell your house in Miami, go ahead and deduct around $20,000 from whatever you thought the profit would be. Commission fees are just part of what you’ll pay to sell here. The average cost of prepping your home to sell is $3,860, while transfer taxes cost $1,866.

Next: Most cities on the list are in this state.

12. Riverside, California

Riverside County

Closings costs average more than $20,000 in Riverside. | David McNew/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $26,270

Home values are high and inventory is low all over the country — including in Riverside. Closing costs in this California city are around $20,270 while home repairs to prep for selling are pretty expensive, too. Getting the house ready to sell costs around $5,190 and transfer taxes are $380.

Next: It’s sunny, beautiful, and expensive here.

11. Denver, Colorado


Denver gets an average of 300 days of sunshine every year. | Creative-Family/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $28,233

With a rumored 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s no wonder Denver is such a popular place for real estate. Sellers spend a big chunk on fees here, with most of it going toward commission.

Next: Contractors here cost a lot, but taxes don’t.

10. Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

You’ll spend a lot getting your home ready for sale in Portland. | Png-Studio/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $29,184

One of the most frustratingly expensive parts of home selling in Portland is the amount spent getting ready for the sale. Sellers can anticipate an average cost of $6,570 in prepping fees and $22,614 in commission. The good news? They don’t pay a penny for transfer taxes.

Next: You’ll have to pay a lot to get the house ready to sell here.

9. Sacramento, California


Taxes are low but other costs are high in Sacramento. | SpVVK/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $30,136

A huge chunk of the unexpected fees for home selling in Sacramento comes from getting the house ready to sell. Things like painting, replacing broken appliances, and home staging come at a premium in this city. Meanwhile, transfer taxes are a drop in the bucket at just $426 on average.

Next: It’s no surprise that this city is in the top ten highest for hidden fees.

8. New York, NY

New york

You’ll pay top dollar to sell your home in New York City. | Spyarm/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $32,273

Manhattan home sellers are used to paying top dollar for everything. Selling their homes? That’s no exception. New Yorkers pay about $4,670 getting their houses ready to list and fork over $25,878 in commissions when they sell.

Next: Home prices here are exorbitant, which makes the fees even higher.

7. Washington, DC

Washington DC in Spring

It’s not cheap to sell a property in D.C. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $32,829

Even the most convincing politician can’t argue his or her way out of selling fees. In the hot housing market in our nation’s capital, sellers can expect to spend $23,250 on commissions, $3,960 doing repairs and updates, and $5,619 on transfer taxes.

Next: This is one of a few East Coast cities that made the list.

6. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Taxes cost Boston sellers about $2,000. | Sean Pavone/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $34,034

Selling your home in Boston is a pricey proposition. On average, sellers shell out $26,556 in commissions, $5,460 prepping their homes to sell, and $2,018 in transfer taxes.

Next: At least the property taxes here aren’t too outrageous.

5. San Diego, California

San Diego, California,

Hidden fees cost San Diego sellers more than $40,000. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $40,379

All of the top five cities on the list are on the west coast. In San Diego, you’ll spend tens of thousands on commission fees and around $5,000 on prepping your home to sell (those contractors don’t come cheap). Still, your transfer taxes will be shockingly low at a mere $633.

Next: The transfer taxes here are higher than any other city on the list.

4. Seattle, Washington

downtown Seattle,

Hidden fees are high in Seattle’s white hot real estate market. | RomanKhomlyak/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $43,555

The notable thing about Seattle is that transfer taxes are the highest in the entire country at $8,487. That’s a far cry from other cities like Phoenix, where there are zero transfer taxes.

Next: The realtors in this city are making a killing on commissions.

3. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California,

Commissions eat up $38,000 of potential profits in Los Angeles. | Choness/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $44,251

The City of Angels is not a cheap place to sell your home. Commissions will eat up more $38,000 of your potential profits, which makes sense given the high cost of homes in the area.

Next: This is the second priciest city to sell your home in.

2. San Francisco, California

San Francisco,

It’s no surprise that fees are high in San Francisco.  | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $63,087

There’s only one place that’s more expensive to live than San Francisco. When you sell your home here, you’ll pay around $63,087 in hidden fees including realtor commissions, transfer taxes, and getting your home ready to sell. The housing market there is so insane that people are resorting to living in earthquake shacks just to keep this zip code.

Next: And the most expensive place to sell your home is…

1. San Jose, California

San Jose California, USA

In San Jose, fees are equal to the price of a home in some other cities. | Aido75/iStock/Getty Images

  • Home selling fees: $81,507

Welcome to Silicon Valley, where the hidden fees associated with your home sale cost as much as a whole house in other cities. Realtor commissions eat up the biggest chunk of this pie at $73,578, partly because there aren’t many listings in this city for less than $1 million. Get ready to spend some green if you list your home in the tech capital of the country.

Read more: This Is How Much It Really Costs to Sell Your House

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