Closing Costs – Transfer Tax

In my last post, I mentioned title insurance as a big part of closing. Another larger fee in closing is transfer tax. This fee is also based on the sale price of a home. The amount of the fee can depend on your county and municipality. In Pennsylvania, the buyer and the seller typically split this fee at closing and it can range from 2-4 percent of the sale price.

A few years back I was involved in a sale and was delighted to know that at that time State of Pennsylvania had waived the property transfer tax because the buyer was the brother of the seller. At that time the state was waiving transfer tax for next of kin. It saved them both $750 each at the closing table.

Here is some info from Wikipedia

“Real estate transfer tax is a tax that may be imposed by states, counties, or municipalities on the privilege of transferring real property within the jurisdiction. Total transfer taxes range from very small (for example, .01% in Colorado) to relatively large (2.2% in the District of Columbia).[1]

Some states have a variety of transfer tax laws which may include specific exemptions for certain types of buyers based on buying status or income level (e.g. Maryland exempts certain “first time buyers” from a percentage of the total [2] or excludes a portion of the property’s sales price from taxation altogether).

Another variation which exists is either the legal requirement to split the taxes between the parties or the local custom to do so. Thus, in Washington, DC, the 2.2% is generally split between the seller and the buyer. Prior to buying or selling, it is advisable to check with the Recorder of Deeds, a Realtor, or title company to confirm a specific jurisdiction’s practices.”

Here what has to say.

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