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7 hidden costs of selling your home

Key Points
  • Homeowners spend an average $15,190 nationwide to sell their home.
  • Real estate commissions, at an average 6 percent, take the biggest bite.
  • Home preparation costs like cleaning and staging cost an average $2,658.
Frederic J. Brown | Getty Images

How much does it cost to sell your home? More than you might think.

Homeowners shell out an average $15,190 nationwide in the course of offloading a house, according to a new report from home sale website Zillow and Thumbtack, a local services marketplace. That includes real estate commissions, transfer taxes and hiring pros for common home prep projects like cleaning and repainting.

(The study assessed costs in the largest 35 metropolitan areas, excluding New York and San Jose.)

Some of those expenses could be a surprise for first-time sellers — who represent nearly two-thirds of those who sold a home in the past year, per Zillow's data.

"For those planning to sell this year, take your time to research all the costs you could be responsible for and how they may affect your profit, or even budget for your next home, " Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer for Zillow, said in a statement.

Don't forget about these seven potential costs ahead of a home sale:

1) Real estate commissions
Andersen Ross | Getty Images

U.S. average: $11,790 (based on a median home value of $196,500). The typical commission is 6 percent, according to Zillow.

Priciest city: San Francisco, where the average cost is $50,592 (based on a median home value of $843,200)

Cheapest city: Cleveland, where the average cost is $7,944 (based on a median home value of $132,400)

2) Home staging
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U.S. average: $1,208

Priciest city: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, where the average cost is $2,590

Cheapest city: Riverside, California, where the average cost is $253

3) Interior painting
LWA | Getty Images

U.S. average: $1,141

Priciest city: Seattle, where the average cost is $1,460

Cheapest city: Columbus, Ohio, where the average cost is $847

4) Transfer tax
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U.S. average: $742 (based on an average tax rate of 0.38 percent). Not all cities assess a transfer tax.

Priciest city: Seattle, where the average cost is $8,654 (based on a 2.03 percent tax and a median home value of $426,300)

Cheapest cities: Nine cities in Zillow's report — Indianapolis; St. Louis; Kansas City, Missouri; San Antonio, Texas; Houston; Dallas-Fort Worth; Phoenix; Austin, Texas; and Portland, Oregon — do not assess any transfer tax.

5) Carpet cleaning
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U.S. average: $124

Priciest city: Boston, where the average cost is $154

Cheapest city: Orlando, Florida, where the average cost is $94

6) House cleaning
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U.S. average: $119

Priciest city: Minneapolis-St. Paul, where the average cost is $140

Cheapest city: Boston, where the average cost is $105

7) Multi-service lawn care
Stephen Lux | Getty Images

U.S. average: $66

Priciest city: Boston, where the average cost is $138

Cheapest city: Dallas-Fort Worth, where the average cost is $38