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17 min read Jan 18, 2023

What are the Average Closing Costs in Pennsylvania for Seller?

average closing costs in pa for seller

Congratulations! You have almost completed the process of selling a house in Pennsylvania. As a seller, closing on a property can be one of the greatest moments. However, it can also be exhausting and stressful alone if you aren’t prepared for the real estate closing process Pennsylvania. To add to it, closing costs in PA are some of the highest in the country!

Key Takeaways

  • Closing costs, also known as “settlement costs,” are the final expenses to complete the real estate transaction.
  • Closing costs are separate from the price of the property.
  • The seller and the buyer have to pay specific closing costs.
  • In Pennsylvannia a title agency or an attorney oversee the closing process.
  • Due to different fees and statute requirements, closing costs vary in municipalities and states.

  • 💰 CALCULATE YOUR CLOSING COSTS

What are Closing Costs in Pennsylvania?

Closing costs Pennsylvania are a set of expenses that the seller and the buyer must pay to finalize the real estate transaction and transfer the ownership of the house.

Who Pays Closing Costs in Pennsylvania?

Both the seller and the buyer pay certain PA closing costs.

As a seller, you can negotiate some closing costs with the homebuyer. However, you must pay closing costs like taxes charged by your state or local jurisdiction. They are non-negotiable.

A real estate agent in PA will know who typically pays what for the closing costs in your local area. So, it’s important to seek professional advice. Hiring an experienced real estate agent can help reduce your closing costs.

How Much are Seller Closing Costs in North Carolina?

The average closing cost in Pennsylvania for seller is 6-10% of the final price of their house.

According to Zillow, the median home price PA is $267,594. So, you can expect to pay $16,055-$26,759 as seller closing costs in PA.

Most of the closing costs for seller in Pennsylvania will be deducted from the proceeds you get from the property. As such, you need enough equity to cover some of the expenses.

What are the Different Home Seller Closing Costs in Pennsylvania?

Here are the typical closing costs in PA for sellers!

1. Attorney’s Fee

Pennsylvania law does not require an attorney’s presence during the closing if a title agency is involved in the transaction. If you are opting for a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) route to sell your house, you may be required to have an attorney at closing.

Sellers usually hire real estate attorneys to review to draft documents like Pennsylvania real estate disclosures and review sales contracts, especially if there are any legal issues with the property.

Although the fee varies entirely on the amount of work and what type of home is being sold. The estimated cost in the Pennsylvania attorney fee would charge between $150 to $500. In most cases, the seller and buyer hire different attorneys to represent their best interests. However, if you and the buyer decide to hire the same attorney, the fee will be split.

2. Credits Towards Closing Costs

You can offer to help buyers with their closing costs to make the property more attractive, especially if you live in an area where market competition is low. These costs are called closing credits or seller concessions and are paid at closing.

» How Much are Closing Costs in Pennsylvania for Buyer: Here is a detailed breakdown of buyer closing costs in Pennsylvania.

3. Documentary Stamp

The documentary stamps refer to the excise tax levied on the documentation that transfers the property from you to the buyer. It is like paying tax on a property deed or some other official documentation.

4. Escrow Fee

An escrow is a neutral third party that holds certain funds or the property until the contract conditions have been met. It protects the interest of both parties by ensuring that either does not wrongfully back out of the deal and lose money. Typically, the escrow fee will be split between the buyer and you as both parties benefit from it.

5. Home Inspection Fee

You can opt for a real estate inspection in PA to identify any major defects and issues, like plumbing issues, water damage, mold, appliance malfunction, etc., in the house. This can be done before the property is listed on the market (pre-inspection) or just before the closing. You can choose to resolve the defects identified by the PA home inspector before selling the house to improve its market value.

In Pennsylvania, disclosing any known material defects in the property, including those which are not readily observable, is mandatory for the seller by law. When selling a house, you must inform the buyer about any structural problems ad hazardous substances or contaminants in the house. You must also disclose if the house has been treated for termites, has had water or sewage issues, or has been remodeled.

The buyer can also undertake a home inspection. However, if they find undisclosed defects, it might give them the upper hand during negotiations, or they may back out of the deal.

The state of Pennsylvania can also hold the seller responsible for any costs of repair or other damages if they fail to report any damages to the buyer.

» What is the Costs of Home Inspection in Pennsylvania: Find out more about this closing cost in PA.

6. Home Warranty Fee

A home warranty covers the maintenance cost of the devices and appliances in the house for a limited time period, like, days, months, or years. You may offer a home warranty to make the property more desirable for buyers. The average home warranty fee in PA is $480.

7. Homeowner Association (HOA) Fee/ Document Fee

If you are a part of the Homeowners Association (HOA), you will have to pay the fee due until the closing date and clear the remaining dues, if any. In most cases, you will not be able to close on the house until the dues are paid.

However, if the issue persists and is not resolved before closing, the HOA can place a lien on your house and even initiate foreclosure.

8. HOA Estoppel Fee

The HOA Estoppel letter is a legally binding document containing details about the financial obligation, like the monthly fee, that the buyer will have to pay after closing. It also offers information about any unresolved dues you may owe.

The HOA Estoppel fee needs to be paid by you as part of the process. It ranges from $200-$500.

9. HOA Transfer Fee

If you are a part of the Homeowners Association, at the time of closing, the ownership of your house needs to be transferred to the buyer in HOA records. HOA transfer fee is a one-time non-negotiable charge that you pay the HOA to update their records.

Moreover, you have to pay the recording fee, principal balance, interest accrued from the last payment to the day of closing, and any penalty that the lender might charge you.

10. Mortgage Payoff

Mortgage payoff will most likely be one of the biggest items on your list of fees. You’ll have to pay off any remaining balance of the mortgage on your property with the proceeds of your home sale at closing. This includes interest accrued from the last payment to the day of closing and any penalty the lender might charge you for prepayment of the mortgage.

Contact your lender and discuss the requirements to pay off the mortgage to get the overall details of your closing costs. Also, check for the loan documents if there’s any prepayment penalty with your mortgage.

11. Municipal Lien Search

A Municipal Lien Search can help you uncover any unrecorded liens, code violations, permits, taxes, and utility bills, associated with the property. While many sellers forego a municipal lien search, it can complement a title search, especially since it offers additional information about open or expired permits.

An open or expired permit can be a thorn in the side for both you and the buyer as it can lead to further expenses and delays in the sale. On average, a municipal lien search costs $200.

12. Owner’s Title Insurance

The title insurance rates in Pennsylvania are based on the property value.

There are two types of title insurance in PA, owner’s and lenders. In Pennsylvania, usually the buyer will pay for the owner’s title insurance to protect themselves against discrepancies relating to the ownership of the property or false documentation. Additionally, title insurance takes care of any back taxes, liens, ownership clauses, etc.

Both parties can negotiate who purchases the owner’s title insurance.

» Who Pays for Owner’s Title Insurance in Pennsylvania: Find out if owner’s title insurance is a necessary purchase for you.

13. Property Tax

The owner of the house has to pay property tax proportionate to the home value to the local government. It can be paid annually or at the time of the real estate transaction.

In Pennsylvania, the property tax is 1.50% of the market value of the house. You must pay prorated property tax according to the date of purchase at closing.

14. Real Estate Broker Commission

The realtor fees Pennsylvania is the biggest chunk of the cost you need to pay. However, it’s negotiable and typically paid from the proceeds of your house sale. Likewise, don’t forget to contact your agent to negotiate the fees. In total, you are expected to pay the real estate agent commission that ranges from 4% to 6% (listing agent commission + buyer’s agent commission which costs 2% to 3% of the total sales price).

If you want to avoid paying hefty commissions, you can list your property for a flat fee or with no commission at all! Choosing FSBO (For Sale by Owner) and listing your home with a Pennsylvania Flat Fee listing plan can save you more. And you can actually pay zero on commissions if your buyer has no agent.

» How to Sell a House By Owner in Pennsylvania: A Comprehensive Guide

15. Settlement Agent Fee

Settlement fee is the compensation paid to a settlement agent for their closing services. A settlement agent is a third-party intermediary who helps you and the buyer complete the transaction. They clear the house for sale and transfer the ownership to the buyer and the respective funds to you.

The right to close resides with attorneys and title agencies in Pennsylvania. As per state law, the buyers choose the title agency or settlement agent.

16. Transfer Tax

Transfer tax is levied the municipality, county, or state to the transfer of ownership of the house from the seller to the owner.

The state of Pennsylvania charges a transfer tax of 1% of the sales price. In addition to this, the county also imposes a deed transfer tax which is usually split between the school district and the municipality. Accordingly, the total deed transfer tax in Pennsylvania ranges from 2-5% of the property value.

The buyer will share the burden of transfer tax with you.

17. Utility Bills

You must pay all utility bills till the date of purchase of the house. The title company usually checks for unpaid bills and utility liens. If there are any dues, you must clear them at closing.

How to Reduce Closing Costs in PA?

1. Opt for a discount broker or a flat fee realtor.

Compared to traditional brokers who charge 6% of the sales price as commission, discount real estate brokers in Pennsylvania only charge 3-4% of the sales price for their services. Some low commission brokers offer higher concessions if you let them represent you as buyer’s agents for your next real estate purchase.

2. Choose “For Sale By Owner”(FSBO).

Sellers can save up to 3% commission and cut several costs by opting for “Homes For Sale By Owner Pennsylvania” services. Houzeo offers Flat Fee MLS packages for FSBO sellers in Pennsylvania that list properties on the MLS and make the selling process easier and smoother. What’s more, if the buyer is unrepresented, with Houzeo, sellers can sell their homes for zero realtor commission charge!

» Flat Fee MLS Listing in Pennsylvania: Here is our pick of companies that offer Flat Fee MLS services in Pennsylvania.

3. Research and compare.

You can save more cash on closing costs for sellers, such as the pest inspector or homeowner’s insurance agent, title and escrow companies that are more economical. Browse and ask friends who have already experience hiring one.

4. Negotiate realtor fees.

While traditional real estate brokers in Pennsylvania usually charge 6% of the sale price as commission, this number is not set in stone. You can negotiate the fee with your realtor.

5. Ask the buyer to cover seller closing costs.

Buyers may agree to cover closing costs for sellers if the market is competitive and fewer houses are on the market. Alternatively, you can raise the listing price to cover full or partial closing costs.

Closing Costs Calculator PA Seller

Closing costs vary heavily according to location and mortgage rates. Houzeo’s Closing Costs Calculator is a free tool that factors in these elements to help sellers and buyers estimate their closing costs. It shows the user a detailed list of itemized costs and highlights junk costs that can be avoided.

Houzeo’s Seller Closing Costs Calculator Pennsylvania is frequently calibrated to give you the closest estimate of how much are closing costs in Pennsylvania according to market conditions.

» Closing Costs Pennsylvania Calculator: Check your closing costs now!

How Should I Prepare for My Pennsylvania Home Closing?

Your closing agent will most likely schedule a certain date for your closing. Here’s how to prepare for your closing day.

1. Review Your Closing Documents in Advance 

Make sure the closing documents are ready and available before the scheduled closing date takes place. Remember to review the documents thoroughly and understand the provisions stated. Here are some crucial documents that you’ll perhaps sign at closing:

Most properties in Pennsylvania are purchased with a mortgage. If that’s the case, then you’ll have to complete the Closing Disclosure, which contains the costs in detail. But if your transaction is all cash, you need to get the HUD-1—although it’s rare these days.

The HUD-1 or Closing Disclosure detail the over-all amounts you’re being charged for, your loan payoffs, if any, and the net process you will take to the bank. Remember, depending upon how much equity you have in the property, you might be asked to bring a check (or send a wire) on the closing date. Ensure there are no typos in your name, address, property address, bank info, and other details. Then review every amount and the totals to ensure there are no mathematical errors or inadvertent costs. You’ll be surprised how many times these documents have errors – this is one of the reasons our founder launched Houzeo.

The Deed: This document enables the legal transfer of title from the seller to the buyer. Read this document carefully, verifying all details including the legal description of the property, the deed book, deed book page, and the Property Identification Number (PIN), if any. We know of a case where a Seller sold a $94,000 property, but the deed also legally transferred over the Seller’s 5 other homes worth $680,000 over to the Buyer. There was a huge scramble post-closing to correct this mistake. It could have been a nightmare for the Seller if the Buyer didn’t honestly transfer the rest of the properties back to the Seller.

2. Ask Questions if You’re Confused

If this is your first time selling a house in North Carolina, schedule an appointment with the closing agent before the date of the closing. Do some initial research and contact your lawyer for some legal matters you have doubts on.

3. Bring TWO Forms of Official Identification

A licensed notary will be present and require you to swear or promise your identity—and who you say you are. Don’t forget to bring your valid driver’s license or passport. Also, carry a secondary I.D. as well. Here’s a quick list of the things you need to bring in the closing date.

  • Government-issued photo identification of all sellers on the home contract
  • Any questions you have regarding your closing statement
  • The deed of your home if you own it outright
  • Access information, main keys and security codes for your home
  • Documentation of repairs you’ve made per the home inspection
  • Your lucky pen for signing papers.

Now you’re ready! You might’ve heard horror stories of people being blindsided by high seller closing costs in Pennsylvania – but that’s often the result of not preparing and educating themselves ahead of time. If you are a Houzeo For Sale By Owner Seller in Pennsylvania, we want you to be one of the most educated home sellers out there. Next step, log on to Houzeo.com and list your home for sale by owner. You’ll be in full control of your listing, and save thousands in the process!

Note: This is only a quick guide for all the sellers in Pennsylvania. Despite most information readily available online, seeking expert advice helps progress the process of selling a home.

Conclusion

Developing an understanding of how much is closing cost in Pennsylvania is important for you as a seller as it can greatly impact your profits. Additionally, knowing how much are closing costs in PA is an important factor in calculating the listing price of a house.

If you have not begun your real estate journey yet, opt for Houzeo. Houzeo.com, a tech company, provides an unbeatable combination of maximum savings, cutting-edge technology, and 5-star customer support. With its 100% virtual service, it helps home sellers list their property without any hassle from the comfort of their homes, while also allowing home buyers to explore properties and make offers online. Houzeo’s customer-centric approach, advanced technology, and flat fee packages make it an ideal choice for those looking to avoid paying high commissions and closing costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are closing costs tax deductible?

Yes. You can claim tax deductions on some closing costs that are considered taxes or insurance.

2. Who pays title insurance in Pennsylvania?

Usually, the buyer pays for the owner's title insurance in Pennsylvania. However, they can negotiate this cost with the seller. If the buyer opts for a mortgage to purchase the house, they pay for the lender's title insurance.

3. How to calculate closing costs in PA?

Closing costs in Pennsylvania vary according to location, mortgage rates, and market conditions. Houzeo's closing cost estimator is a free tool you can use to get a close estimate of settlement costs.

Resources for Closing Costs in Pennsylvania

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