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Who Pays for What Costs When a Home is Sold  
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Sellers and buyers must pay many fees, costs, taxes and premiums when a home is sold.  The lists on this page reflect what has been customary in Los Angeles County, California. In other counties and other states, these may differ.  But always keep in mind: "Everything is negotiable."  

The Buyer generally pays for:

Escrow fee charged by the escrow company for their services -- 50%.

Loan fees, miscellaneous charges, points, appraisal charged by the lender.  (One point is 1% of a loan and is added interest on the loan.)

Lender's Title Policy.  This insures the lender that the title to the property is clear and free of liens or other problems.

Document preparation fee which may be required by the lender.

Inspection costs.

Termite repairs - Section 2.  (See the seller's side for more information.)

Notary fees and express delivery fees, if necessary.

Property taxes and bond or assessment fees as prorated from the date the sale closes.  

Home Owners' fire insurance for first year.

Interest on the new loan from the date the loan closes to the date the first payment is due.

Recording fees charged by the County Recorders office.

Buyers can protect themselves from surprises that may occur just as a loan is closing by insisting that their lender (not their broker) give them a "Good Faith Estimate of Settlement Costs".  This document is required by the Federal Government and discloses all costs to purchase a home.  The lender should give the Good Faith Estimate to a buyer within 3 days of the buyer applying for a home loan.






The Seller generally pays for:

Escrow fee charged by the escrow company for their services -- 50%.

Owners' Title Report.  This insures that the seller has clear title to the property and that there are no problems or liens or other clouds on the title.

Property Hazard Report required by the state of California.  This document, prepared by companies who specialize in it, itemizes dozens of potential hazards, from earthquake faults to nearby airports and how they might affect the property.

Termite Inspection and Section 1 repairs.  The termite report has 2 sections: Section 1 lists  absolutely necessary repairs.  Section 2 items are recommended repairs.

Hot water heater strapping and smoke detector installation, if neither of these has been done.  

Retrofit requirements by local and/or county governments.   Local inspection fees, if any.

City or county transfer fees.

Home Owners' Warranty on major home systems.

Property taxes and any bond or assessment fees to the date the sale closes.

Home Owners Association dues, if unpaid.  Any Home Owners Association transfer fees.

Payoff fees for the sellers' loan.  (This is above the amount still owed on the seller's home loan.)

Broker's commission.

Notary and express delivery fees, if necessary.

Recording fees charged by the County Recorder.

 

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