How much does it cost to sell a house?

When a homeowner decides to sell a home, they must properly equate costs related to the sale process, from selling promotion expenses to legal and tax expenses. The following is a list of optional and mandatory costs.

Selling a home can become a real epic because, in addition to the headaches, this decision can prove to be quite costly. Hence it is important to be aware of all the costs in order to sell at the right price and do not end up being disillusioned with the option to sell.

There are numerous underlying costs, such as the cost of advertising and marketing, issuance of the energy certificate, commission payable to the mediation firm, taxes, etc.

The Energy Certificate is mandatory

Firstly, to promote the sale of a property (eg to advertise on a website) it is imperative that you have an Energy Certificate (CE), on the other hand the CE will have to appear on the signing of the Purchase and Sale Agreement of the property . This document has become mandatory for all properties that are not exempt. There are fines that can vary between € 250 and € 3,740 for the owner or mediator who breaches this legal obligation.

The CE can only be issued by a duly accredited technician and has a cost that varies according to the area and characteristics of the property (if it is intended for housing, commerce or services, etc.). The CE implies the payment of registration fees and the issue of the certificate (between € 28 and € 950), plus the fees of the expert responsible for issuing the CE. Due to these variables, the total cost can vary from 200 € to more than 5,000 €.If an Energy Certificate already exists, it can be used as long as it has not exceeded the validity period (10 years) and the corrective measures mentioned therein have already been implemented, guaranteeing a minimum certification of "B-".

Promotion of the sale of the house

This cost is very variable. If you choose to sell your home alone, the costs can be small: from a simple board that you can put on the exterior of your property (most printers have this service, for a cost not much more than € 20), to ads in a newspaper or in the specialty websites ( Casa Sapo , Imovirtual , Idealista and BPI Expresso Imobiliário , etc. ) in case this will have to invest much more money.

In the case of online advertising made through these specialized portals costs have been rising, derived from the good moment of the real estate market. In addition, the effectiveness of an advertisement promoted by a private individual will always be lower than that achieved by large mediation companies that have outstanding contracts and priority visibility.

Commission to pay to the real estate brokerage firm

If you choose to sell your house through a real estate agency, the first expense to take into account will be the commission to pay the agency when you can sell your home. In Portugal, "those who sell will have to pay the commission agreed with the real estate brokerage firm if the sale was made through mediation," explains Luís Lima, president of APEMIP (Association of Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Companies of Portugal) . In other words, buyers have no costs when resorting to a mediation company, but the owners have.

As a general rule, real estate agencies charge a commission between 4% and 5% on the value of the sale of the house, to address all aspects related to promotion and marketing. This cost includes expenses with the promotion of the property (advertisements, flyers, websites, etc.), with the work of the real estate consultant, with its legal support, etc. etc.

Capital gains tax

The capital gains are the profit resulting from the sale or exchange of a property. So, if you bought a house for 150 thousand euros and sold it for 200 thousand euros, you may have to rely on the payment of capital gains to the tax authorities, which will affect the 50 thousand euros.

The taxable income is considered to be only 50% of its value and may be exempted if the property sold is used for permanent and permanent housing and the proceeds of the sale are reinvested in the acquisition of another permanent and permanent housing.

The question of the date of acquisition of the house is important for calculating the capital gains, according to Luís Lima: "The capital gains are valued according to the date of acquisition of the house, they only apply to real estate acquired as of the date established in the law of the most benefits ".

"If there is a place for payment of capital gains, the real estate brokerage commission, if it has existed, is also deductible in this tax," adds the APEMIP leader.

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Other taxes

In addition to the added value, you can also count on several other taxes: "IMT and IMI are taxes that are levied on who buys (IMT) and who owns the house on December 31 of the respective fiscal year (IMI)" , affirms Luis Lima, noting that there is also a "reborn stamp duty, for transactions of higher amounts and quantified in the law."

Documentation Expenses

Ricardo Sousa also recalls that it is necessary to count on "the acquisition of several documents necessary for the act of buying and selling":

  • Property certificate, 30 euros if it is in the Conservatory and 15 euros the permanent certificate.
  • Vehicle book, about 10 euros.
  • Certificates issued by the Municipalities, depends on the local authority and can be around 15 euros each.
  • Certificate of Preemptive Right: 15 euros.

Other expenses

In addition to the above mentioned expenses, you can also count the payment of these bills in case of sale of your house.

- Commission to pay to the banking institution for early repayment of the loan, if it exists, depends on each bank.

- Cancellation of the mortgage before the Land Registry, if there is 60 euros for each act.

And remember: professional help in selling a home has a cost, but ... "time is money".
Consult me and you will feel the difference.

Updated on: 
Tuesday, 4 February, 2020
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