California Fees to Sell House: Every Fee You Need to Know

California Fees to Sell House: Every Fee You Need to Know

No matter where you live, there are always a lot of costs to be aware of when selling a house. You’ll have the realtor percentage to cover, as well as the escrow fee, house title fee, home appraisal cost, and much more. Home repairs aside, if you’d like to know all the fees that you can expect when selling your California home, then you are in the right place because we have listed them all below, along with a brief explanation of what each one is. 

Keep in mind, you can one hundred percent skip these costs altogether and give Osborne Homes a call. We are the number one cash-paying home buyer in California – we close FAST and there are NO fees when selling your home to us! Contact us for more info, when you have a moment.

For now, let’s take a look at the fees to sell a house that you’ll face when going the other route. Hang on to your wallet!

A Breakdown of all the Fees for Selling a California Home

The latest 2022 median selling price in California is $840,000 so we will use that figure when going into the cost of fees below, since many of them are based on sales price. There are a ton of California home-selling fees and costs! To make things simple, we have broken them down into five categories:

  • Realtor percentage (commission)
  • Escrow fee
  • Title insurance
  • Transfer Taxes
  • Miscellaneous items

A few of these costs are based on whatever county and city the house is located in, and they will all show up on your seller’s settlement statement closer to the close of your sale. The settlement statement is a one-page document that outlines details such as the selling price, total closing costs and net proceeds if any.

Real Estate Commissions

When you sell your California home, you’ll need to pay a commission to your agent as well as any buyer’s agents involved in the sale. The commission will be a huge part of the total closing costs, but is one that is negotiable. 

Total approx. cost of real estate commission in California: 

In California, the typical realtor percentage is around 4.91% of the final sales price of the home, so for an $840,000 median home sale, that would be around $41,244. 

There are several ways you can try and get the commission to be lowered, such as going with a discount broker, using a flat fee company or simply selling without a realtor, but by doing so a seller risks losing out on the very service, experience and marketing power that are extremely vital for a successful traditional home sale. Because of this, lowering the commission should not be made a priority.

As far as who pays the real estate commissions, that is ultimately up to the negotiation between the buyer and seller. In most cases, the seller will be responsible for paying both their own real estate agent’s commission as well as the buyer’s agent’s commission. 

Escrow Fees

An escrow company is a third-party organization that holds money or property in trust until all conditions of a contract have been met. Escrow companies are commonly used in real estate transactions to ensure that both the buyer and seller fulfill their obligations.

Total approx. cost of escrow fee in California:

For helping to facilitate a smooth transaction and ensure that all terms of a contract are met, the escrow company charges a fee of approx. $2.00 for every $1,000 of the sales price (+ $250). For an $840,000 home, this would be $1,680.

While who pays for the escrow fee on a California home sale is negotiable, each county has different pre-set parameters for who is automatically expected to pay for it. Here are a few counties, as an example:

Alameda County: Buyer

Los Angeles: Split 50/50

San Mateo: Seller

Ventura: Split 50/50

Contact a local escrow agency to find out who pays it where your property is located.

Title Insurance

The purpose of title insurance is to protect homeowners and lenders against any property loss or damage they might incur due to liens, encumbrances or defects in the title to a property. Each and every title insurance policy is subject to specific terms, conditions and exclusions. 

Total approx. house title fee in California:

The cost of title insurance is typically a percentage of the sales price of the home and is based on the value of the property. In California, the average cost of title insurance is $1,500. This fee is typically paid by the buyer at the time of closing.

Transfer Taxes

When a home is sold, the county and city where the home is located may charge a transfer tax. The amount of the tax is typically a percentage of the sales price of the home. The taxes are generally paid by the seller, but it may be negotiated as part of the sales contract. The purpose of these taxes is to generate revenue for use by the local government. 

Total approx. cost of transfer taxes on a California home sale:

County and city transfer taxes can vary significantly from one location to another, so it is important to check with your local government to determine the amount of the tax in your area. In most counties, the tax rate is $1 per $1,000 of the sale price. So, if your home sells for $840,000, you’ll owe $840 in county transfer tax. City transfer taxes are higher at approx. $3.30 for every $1,000 of the sales price. Not all cities charge a transfer tax but if you are in one of them and you sell your house for $840,000, that will be an additional $2,772 in city transfer tax.

Miscellaneous Items

There are quite a few miscellaneous closing costs when selling a home in California. All of these fees can add up, but they are all necessary in order to sell your home. Here are just a few of them:

Appraisal Fee

An appraisal is important in order to determine the value of your home. 

Does the buyer or seller pay for the appraisal?

Traditionally a buyer pays for the appraisal but a seller can offer to cover it as an incentive to the buyer.

Home Appraisal Cost: $300-$600

Inspection Fee

The cost to have an inspector come out and look over your property.

Does the buyer or seller pay for the inspection? 

All buyers should be advised by their agents to pay for their own inspections, but again, it’s another one a seller might offer to pay to land the sale.

House Inspector Cost: $340-450

Home Staging Fee

This is a fee charged by businesses that will help you stage your home for potential buyers. 

Does the buyer or seller pay for the staging? 

The seller always pays for this one.

Home Staging Cost: $800-$1,000

Photography fee

This is a fee charged by photographers who take pictures of your home to get it ready to market. 

Does the buyer or seller pay for the photography? 

The seller always pays for this one.

Photography Cost: $500-$700

Lock Box Fee

Fee charged by companies that provide lock boxes for homes that are for sale. 

Does the buyer or seller pay for the lock box? 

The seller always pays for this one.

Lox Box Cost: up to $200

The Total Costs for Selling a Home in California

Including realtor fees, the total approx. fees to sell a house in California are estimated to be around 5.7% of the selling price. This equals out to be approx. $47,880 for a home that sells at $840,000. And that’s not including any home repairs you’ll need to make to get your house sold in the first place! All of these fees are important and should be taken into consideration when you are selling your California home on the traditional real estate market.

Avoid all these fees when you step on board with Osborne Homes!

The sellers who come to Osborne for help are usually those who:

  1. Are in an extreme hurry to sell
  2. Do not have the time or money to get the house ready for the market, or;
  3. Owe too much on their home and will have to pay out of pocket for closing costs

If this is you, fill out the form below to get started!

If you need to sell your home fast and skip paying all the fees to sell a house the traditional way, provide us with these easy details and we will be in touch. Contact us today!

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