Planning to sell your house in the Garden State? You could stand to make some serious cash on the sale: Median home prices here have risen by more than 12 percent since last year, according to April data from Redfin.  

However, selling a house isn’t free. You only get to pocket the cash that isn’t used to cover closing costs, agent fees and other associated expenses. Here’s a breakdown of all the costs to sell in New Jersey. 

Sellers’ closing costs

When you sell your New Jersey house, there are a number of closing costs to consider. Some things you can negotiate, and other things (like taxes) are set costs. Common closing costs for New Jersey home sellers include:  

  • Concessions: A buyer may ask you cover the cost of a repair or a portion of their closing costs as part of the contract negotiations. These are called seller concessions — you do not have to agree, but doing so can help move the sale along faster, and it’s not unusual at all. 
  • Transfer taxes: As in many states, New Jersey sellers pay a transfer tax for shifting ownership to the buyer. Referred to as a “realty transfer fee,” the state’s transfer tax rate differs by the sale amount. For example, a house selling for $500,000 would incur a tax rate of $4.80 for every $500 in value, or $4,800 in total.
  • Title insurance: Title insurance, which protects against any problems with the home’s title or ownership, might be paid for by either the buyer or the seller in New Jersey. Be sure to discuss who is covering this fee, which can run between 0.5 and 1 percent of the home’s purchase price, with your real estate agent.
  • Escrow fees: If any funds related to the transaction are being held in escrow, you may be charged a fee to cover the costs of the escrow account.
  • Legal fees: New Jersey doesn’t require a real estate attorney to close a real estate sale, but many sellers hire one anyway to protect their interests. The attorney’s fees will be due at closing. 
  • Property taxes: Even though you’re in contract to sell your house, you’re responsible for paying property taxes right up until the sale officially closes. If you’re part of a homeowners association, the same may be true of your HOA fees. 

Real estate agent commissions

The way agent commissions work is set to change this summer, due to a recent lawsuit being settled. As things currently stand, home sellers typically pay the real estate agent commissions for both their own agent and their buyer’s agent, but going forward, buyers may be responsible for paying their own agent. 

In any case, the seller will be responsible for paying at least their own agent’s commission, which is likely to be between 2.5 and 3 percent of the home’s sale price. Per Redfin, the median home price in New Jersey was $510,400 in April — a 2.5 percent commission on that price would amount to $12,760.

Keep in mind, though, that prices can vary widely depending on where in the state the home is located. In Montclair, for example, the median home price was $1.16 million, while in Trenton, it was just $193,000. This makes a huge difference in the amount of commission to be paid. 

Home prep and moving costs

Before you even list your home, you may want put some money into getting it ready to sell. Adding a fresh coat of paint in some spaces, sprucing up the landscaping and repairing noticeable cosmetic flaws can all make the home more appealing to prospective buyers. Some common listing preparations include:

  • Making necessary repairs
  • Repainting
  • Cleaning carpets and floors
  • Landscaping for curb appeal
  • Professional home staging 

And don’t forget to budget for moving costs. Hiring pro movers can add thousands to your home-sale costs, especially if you’re moving long-distance, and even supplies and truck rentals for a DIY move can add up fast. 

How much do I get from selling my house? 

Once you cover all the costs to sell your house in New Jersey, the rest of the money from the sale is yours to keep: your net proceeds. Don’t forget to factor in all your closing costs, your Realtor fees, the amount of money you paid for prep work and repairs, and crucially, the amount you owe on your existing mortgage, which will be paid off with the money from your sale. Take a close look at your closing statement for an itemized breakdown of all the costs.

Reducing your costs 

Looking to save money on your home sale costs? These tips can help:

  • Negotiate Realtor commissions: Commission fees are usually not set in stone. Talk to your real estate agent to see if you can negotiate a lower rate. 
  • Sell as-is: Selling your home as-is can save you money, especially if the home is not in great condition, because you don’t have to pay to make any repairs or updates. This could mean a lower sale price, though. 
  • Shop around: If you need to pay for repairs, attorneys or any other service, get quotes or estimates from several companies so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal. 


If selling your home the traditional way with an agent doesn’t sound like the right fit, consider these alternatives:

  • Homebuying companies or iBuyers: Selling directly to a cash homebuying operation is quick and easy, so you will get your money fast without having to put your home on the market. However, while these companies are convenient, do not expect to earn top dollar when you sell this way. 
  • For sale by owner: When you sell your house without an agent, you don’t have to pay an agent’s fee. But there’s a lot of money on the line, so make you understand all the legalities of selling a house in New Jersey. FSBO sales are a lot of work, and a mistake could be costly.
  • Home equity: Maybe you’d rather not sell, but you do need a cash infusion. Consider tapping into the equity you’ve built in the home with a home equity loan
  • Rent it out: If you don’t need the cash from a sale right away and can afford to keep your home, think about renting it out to tenants. This can provide steady rental income. 

Next steps 

Ready to sell your New Jersey house? Whether it’s at the shore, just outside New York City or anywhere in between, find an agent who knows the local housing market in your area well. Having a licensed expert to guide the way will help you navigate the selling process with ease.