Seller’s Expenses

Here is a list of typical expenses that you can expect to incur in selling your home:

Brokerage Fees

Brokerage fees are typically paid by the seller. They are negotiable and range from 4% to 7% of the purchase price for residential property sales. Vacant land sales commissions are in the range of 5% to 10% of the purchase price. This sales commission is generally split between the agent listing the property and the buyer’s agent who brings the purchaser to the transaction. The commission is then generally split again in some fashion between each agent and his office brokerage.

Real Estate Excise Taxes (REET)

Skagit county and all taxing districts in the county charge .50% excise tax for real property transfers. Adding that to the state excise charge of 1.28% makes a total of 1.78% of the purchase price payable on all real property sales. This fee is charged to the seller of the property at closing.

Title Insurance Policy

Most purchase agreements require the seller to deliver clear title to the property as a condition of sale. This requirement is usually accomplished by a policy of title insurance. The seller will purchase a policy payable to the purchaser for the value of the property. This is to guard against unknown defects or claims on the property. These policies contain exclusions and need to be examined carefully by the purchaser. A sample rate schedule from First American Title is available here.

Escrow Expenses

Escrow is the name for the service that is provided to the buyer and seller of property to facilitate in an impartial manner the terms of the sales agreement. The escrow officer is charged to be neutral to all parties and to assure that all terms of the agreement are met; all funds for the transfer are in place; and that title for the property is transfered and recorded properly. For this service a fee is charged. This fee is based on the sales price and, by tradition in our area, is split equally between the buyer and seller. For a sale of $300,000 a typical escrow fee at this time is $750.00. The seller would be liable for one-half of this fee.