Buyers and Sellers Costs: Who Pays

By Fidelity National Title Insurance Company

The Seller Generally Pays:

  • Real estate commission
  • Document preparation fee for deed
  • Documentary transfer tax
  • Any city transfer/conveyance tax (according to contract)
  • Payoff of all loans in seller’s name (or existing loan balance if being assumed by buyer)
  • Interest accrued to lender being paid off, statement fees, reconveyance fees and any preparation penalties
  • Termite inspection (according to contract)
  • Termite work (according to contract)
  • Any judgments, tax liens, etc., against the seller
  • Tax proration for any taxes unpaid at time of transfer of title
  • Any unpaid homeowner’s insurance
  • Recording charges to clear all documents of record against seller
  • Any bonds or assessments (according to contract) Any and all delinquent taxes
  • Notary fees
  • Escrow Fees
  • Title insurance premium

The Buyer Generally Pays:

  • Title insurance premium
  • Escrow fee
  • Document preparation (if applicable)
  • Notary fees
  • Recording charges for all documents in buyer’s name
  • Termite inspection (according to contract)
  • Tax proration (from date of acquisition)
  • Homeowner’s transfer fee
  • All new loan charges (except those required by lender for seller to pay if applicable)
  • Interest on new loan from date of funding to 30 days prior to first payment date
  • Assumption/charge of records fees for takeover of existing loan
  • Inspection fees (roofing, property inspection, geological, etc.)
  • Home warranty (according to contract)
  • City transfer/conveyance tax (according to contract)
  • File insurance premium for first year

The distinction between personal and real property can be the source of difficulties in a real estate transaction. A purchase contract is normally written to include all real property; that is, all aspects of the property that are fastened down or an integral part of the structure. For example, this would not include potted plants, free-standing refrigerators, washer/dryers, microwaves, bookcases, swag lamps, etc. If there is any uncertainty whether an item is included in the sale or not, it is best to be sure that the particular item is mentioned in the purchase agreement as being included or excluded.