What Fees Does A Seller Pay When Selling A House In California?
Although most people consider selling a home as a profit-generating transaction, selling a home is not without its own associated costs. Let's take a look at what you can expect from the state of California. In fact , the total cost of closing home sellers in California can be up to 6-10 percent of the total sales price.
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Let's break down the common expenses that California home sellers can expect to face.
1. Escrow Fees – The fee is used to pay the escrow agent. An escrow agent is the person responsible for coordinating the transfer of cash and title at the closing stage and who legally holds the title to the property sold in trust throughout the "escrow process." Generally, Escrow fees average about $2 per thousand dollars of purchase price in California, plus $200-$250. In general, both the buyer and the seller shall be responsible for the payment of the discount fee and shall divide it 50/50.
2. Listing Agent Commission – Although there are other options for selling your home, one of the most popular is to take the traditional route of hiring a listing agent. Listing agents can help with all phases of the sales process from start to finish, ensuring that everything goes smoothly and that their clients get the top dollar for their property. These services, however, come at a price. Listing agents are paid a commission on the basis of the final home sales price. In California, this rate generally ranges from 4-8 per cent, with the commission split between the listing agent and the purchase agent. For the time being, understand that property commissions in California are defined as a percentage of the sale price of a home and that while standard rates do exist, they are negotiable and other options (discussed later) do exist.
3. Title Search Fees – The fee paid by you, the seller, is intended to provide proof that you have the legal right to sell your home. Typical costs associated with a title search run from $250-$800, and are largely dependent on the type of property you have and the county in which it is located.
4. Mortgage Balance Payoff - Once Escrow has closed, any amount of money still outstanding on your current mortgage will be paid to the lender before receiving any proceeds from the sale. In addition to the balance due, please be aware that you may also be required to pay a "loan payoff fee" or a "prepayment penalty" that varies from lender to lender based on the provisions of your mortgage agreement.
5. Title Insurance and Fees – Title insurance is intended to protect and mitigate any risk of defects that may be present in the title but remain undisclosed or undiscovered prior to acquisition of the property, including fraud. In this way, title insurance covers events that occur after the policy has been issued, but not against anything that you may have previously known about.
6. County, City or Other "local" fees – these fees vary greatly in type and cost per location, with some premises having no additional fees at all.
7. Notary fees – A notary is required to verify your identity and to validate the signatures and the execution of the paperwork. Fees vary but are generally nominal.
8. HOA Transfer Fees – In the event that the home you are selling is part of the Homeowners Association, there is often a transfer fee for HOA. Generally, the seller pays this fee, which is used to cover the preparation of the HOA paperwork and the registration of the new buyer as the owner of the property. Usually these fees are $1000 or less.
9. Closing Concessions – A number of aspects of the sales process involve negotiations of some kind. Some buyers may, during the process, negotiate or request certain concessions, such as the seller paying the full closing costs. Be aware of this and work with your lawyer or attorney to negotiate a win-win situation for both you and the purchaser.
10. Natural Hazard Disclosure Report – Natural hazards abound in California, which is why this report is commonly requested in order to identify and properly disclose any threats in areas such as flood zones, fault lines (earthquake hazard) and even noise pollution from air traffic. Usually, disclosure costs around $125.
11. Seller Attorney Fees – As a seller, it is often advisable to have a real estate attorney review contract and various other real estate related activities and advice. For example, title defects or numerous amendments needed for a contract may require legal assistance.
12. Home Warranty – Do you remember the concessions we mentioned earlier? Home warranty is a very common concession made and paid for by you, the seller. The price of home warranty is generally between $1250 and $1000.
13. Termite Inspection Fee – Termite inspections are a common requirement in Cali and generally cost about $100. In the event of damage or infestation, the cost of repairs can range from $1000 upwards.