Who Pays What in a Real Estate Transaction?


http://brittanybanning.com/?p=2215One of the most common questions I get as a realtor from buyers and seller is “who pays for what in a real estate transaction?” I have compiled a general list of the items each party is typically responsible for in CA. Keep in mind; these items are negotiable and not definitive for every transaction.


The Seller Will Generally be Expected to Pay For:

  • Real Estate Commissions (for both the buyers and sellers agent)
  • Document preparation fee for Deed
  • Document recording charges that effect the seller
  • County Transfer Tax ($1.10 per $1,000 of sales price) This varies with county and city
  • Notary fees – Sellers Documents
  • Repairs according to contract
  • Any city transfer/reconveyance tax
  • Special delivery/courier fees
  • Payoff of all loans in seller’s name
  • Interest accrued to old lender, Statement Fees, Reconveyance Fees and any prepayment penalties
  • Homeowner’s association transfer fee and prorate dues
  • Bonds of assessments according to contract
  • Home warranty according to the contract
  • All delinquent taxes
  • Any judgments, tax liens, etc. against the seller
  • Tax proration
  • Recording charges to clear all documents of record against seller
  • Title and Escrow Fees (Usually Split 50/50 Between the Buyer and Seller)

The Buyer Will Generally Be Expected to Pay For:

  • Title and Escrow Fees (Usually Split 50/50 Between the Buyer and Seller)
  • Title insurance premium covering loan policy (ALTA)
  • Notary Fees – Buyer Documents
  • Document preparation fees – Buyer Documents
  • Tax proration
  • Inspection fees (home, pest. Roof, pool, etc.)
  • Homeowner’s transfer fees
  • Special delivery/courier fees
  • All new loan charges (except those required by the lender for the seller to pay)
  • Interest on new loan from date of funding to 30 days prior to first payment date
  • Fire insurance premium for the first year
  • City transfer/reconveyance tax according to the contract
  • Preliminary change of ownership fee
  • Assumption/change of records fees for takeover of existing loan
  • Beneficiary statement fee for assumption of existing loan
  • Any loan fees required by buyer’s lender


The above items are negotiable between buyer and seller, as agreed upon in your individual sales contract. This is for informational purposes only and reflects typical charges.

If you are considering buying or selling a home or would like more information about the various costs associated with a real estate transaction, contact me! I can help.