Homeowners spend an average of $18,342 nationally to sell their homes, according to a Zillow study. (David Zalubowski/AP)

Limited numbers of homes for sale across the country mean that most markets favor home sellers, but that doesn’t mean selling a property is always an easy proposition. Selling often costs homeowners more than they anticipate. A recent study by Zillow, an online real estate marketplace, and Thumbtack, an app and website that helps consumers identify local contractors for home projects, found that homeowners spend an average of $18,342 nationally to sell their homes. Costs can be much higher in locations with expensive housing markets.

The 2018 Hidden Costs of Selling analysis identifies numerous “hidden” or overlooked expenses, but most homeowners probably anticipate paying a real estate commission on the sale as well as transfer or sales taxes required by their jurisdiction. Commissions are generally the bulk of seller expenses, but most sellers also spend money on home improvements before listing their home. The majority of homeowners (78 percent) make at least one home improvement before selling, according to the 2017 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report.

When calculating the average total costs of selling, Zillow and Thumbtack included the average costs of professional carpet cleaning, interior and exterior painting, lawn care, gardening, home staging, home cleaning and local moving in their analysis.

The housing market with the most expensive costs to sell is San Jose, where sellers spend an average of $81,507, followed by San Francisco ($63,987), Los Angeles ($44,251), Seattle ($43,555), San Diego ($40,379) and Boston ($34,034). Sellers in the Washington, D.C., region spend an average of $32,829. Of that, $28,869 is closing costs such as commissions and taxes. This region ranks seventh on the most-expensive list.

Cleveland is the least expensive, with sellers spending an average of $12,986.

For the full report, visit https://www.zillow.com/research/hidden-costs-selling-home-19105/