Seller Closing Costs

It takes a small village to sell a house. Closing costs are the expenses associated with doing a real estate transaction.

What are Seller Closing Costs?

A house doesn’t just sell itself! Closing costs are the fees and expenses required to sell a property. Both buyer and seller have their own closing costs in a transaction. The seller’s closing costs are larger than the buyer’s closing costs because the seller pays for the real estate commission. Some seller closing costs are required by law such as retrofit, documentary transfer tax, etc while others are professional fees such as real estate agent commissions, title insurance, and escrow fees. The Sales price minus loan repayment and seller closing costs equal net seller proceeds. Knowing your seller side closing costs will help you calculate your net proceeds from a sale because at the end of the day it’s not how much you make, its how much you keep.

How Much are Seller Closing Costs?

The average seller closing costs in Los Angeles is 6%-8% of the sale price. Closing costs are not set and vary based on the final sales price and professional fees. Your real estate agent or Escrow Company can prepare a seller ‘net sheet’ that will accurately estimate your seller side closing costs.

Closing Costs for Sellers:

Real Estate Commission:
Cost: 5% to 6% of Sale Price

Real estate commissions are the largest seller closing cost. Real Estate commissions are negotiable and range between 5%-6% of the sale price for full-service brokerages in Los Angeles. The commission is divided into two parts, half for the listing agent, and a half for the buyer’s agent. Sometimes sellers ask why they have to pay a double commission when they sell, but they forget that they did not pay a commission when they purchased. In Los Angeles commissions are back end loaded to make it easier for buyers to buy, if the buyer agent commission was moved to the buyer side, they wouldn’t be able to offer as much on the purchase price. I say it averages out to 1 commission per transaction.

Escrow Fee:
Cost: $350 base + $2 per $1,000 of purchase price

Escrow is a neutral third party that handles the money, pays off the old loan, records a new loan, transfers the title, and a whole bunch of other services.

Title Insurance:

Title Insurance rates vary based on the sales price. For properties that are 100K to 300K title insurance cost might be $5 to $6 per $1,000. As the purchase price goes up prices taper offer to $2 to $3 per 1,000 from 1M to 3M and drops to about $1 per 1,000 for 5M plus.

Transfer Taxes:

City Transfer Tax ($4.40 x $1,000 sales price city of LA)
Documentary Transfer Tax ($1.10 x $1,000)

Termite:

Cost: $1,000 to $1,500 for Spot treatments, 3K to 5K for fumigations, 2K to 5K wood repair

Retrofit:

Cost: $500-$2,000 depending on what is needed. if you bought your property or it was built in the last 5-10 years it will probably already be retrofitted, if not this will be an expense.

Home Warranty:
Cost: $500-$700

Seller Disclosures:

9A Report
Cost: $80

HOA Documents
Cost: $500

If you are selling a condo or property that is part of a homeowners association, the seller is responsible for paying the HOA Documents. The property management company of the association prepares them.

Natural Hazard Disclosures $150

 Prorations:

Escrow balances the Property Tax and HOA Dues to the date of closing, so you only pay for what you use.

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