Congratulations! You are in the final stretch! However, the joy of finalizing the real estate deal brings with it the stress of financial planning. Closing costs in California are a sum of expenses you should plan for when buying or selling a house.
- Closing costs or “settlement costs” are a set of final expenses paid for completing a real estate transaction.
- The seller and the buyer both pay closing costs in California.
- The 3 major Seller Closing Costs in California are:
- 1. REALTOR Fee
- 2. Recording Fee
- 3. Escrow Fee
- The 3 major Buyer Closing Costs in California are:
- 1. Loan Origination Fee
- 2. Escrow or Impound Account
- 3. Appraisal Fee
- In California, real estate transactions are usually closed by escrow agents and title companies.
What are Closing Costs in California?
Closing costs in California are a sum of fees that have to be paid to different stakeholders. Closing costs are essential for finalizing the real estate deal and transferring the ownership of the house. These settlement costs are paid in addition to the net property amount.
Who Pays Closing Costs in California?
Both the buyer and seller pay certain closing costs at the end of the real estate transaction in California.
The seller shells out a higher monetary amount as closing costs as they pay the REALTOR commission. Other fees, like documentation charges, transfer fees, etc., are paid by the buyer.
Some closing costs are negotiable, while others are non-negotiable, like taxes charged by your state or local jurisdiction.
Depending upon the conditions of the California real estate market, the buyer or the seller can negotiate their share of the closing costs. For example, in a buyer’s market, the seller may have to bear a portion of the buyer’s closing costs.
» Who Pays Closing Costs in California: Check out the blog to know who pays the closing costs in California.
Who Pays Closing Costs on FSBO in California?
While For Sale By Owner (FSBO) property sellers do not have to pay heavy real estate agent commissions, they cannot completely escape closing costs. Some of these are:
1. Transfer Taxes (0.11%-2.2%)
Transfer tax is charged by the state and/or municipality before the ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer. In California, the transfer tax is levied by the county. All counties in the Golden State charge a transfer tax amounting to $1.10 per $1,000 of the property value.
2. Seller’s Attorney Fees ($150-$350 an hour)
The law in California does not mandate the presence of an attorney for FSBO real estate transactions. However, it is highly advised to hire a real estate attorney for FSBO deals to avoid any type of legal risk.
A real estate attorney guides the owner in preparing the necessary documents like seller disclosure and drafts of other legal paperwork.
3. Pre-listing Appraisal ($400-$600)
FSBO sellers may have to invest in the pre-listing appraisal, as it would help them find an appropriate buyer in less time. This will, in turn, lower the number of days on the market and make the sale faster.
How Much are Closing Costs in California?
The closing cost in California for sellers is approximately 8%–10% of the home’s agreement value, while the buyers are expected to pay around 2%–5% of the home’s purchase price.
Let’s put this in perspective! The median home value in California is $769,405. So, if you are selling a house in California, you may have to pay $61,552 to $76,940 as closing costs. On the other hand, if you are buying a house in California, your closing costs may range between $15,380 to $38,470.
How Much are Closing Costs for Sellers in California?
As mentioned above, when calculating the cost of selling a house in California, you will have to factor in some closing costs to legally transfer the house ownership to the buyer. These costs include several fees that need to be paid over and above the net price of the property.
Some seller closing costs are negotiable. Real estate agents in California usually have information about who pays what at closing and can help you save on closing costs.
Here are some of the prime seller closing costs in California.
1. REALTOR Fee
The seller pays real estate commissions to both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. The real estate commissions in California usually amount to 5%-6% of the agreement value.
» How To Negotiate Real Estate Commission: Check out this blog to find how how to negotiate REALTOR commissions like a pro!
2. Recording Fee
The recording fee is paid by the seller to make the real estate transaction a matter of public record. In California, the recording fee ranges from $600 to $700 across different counties.
3. Escrow Fee
An escrow agent is an unbiased third party who helps you and the buyer complete the transaction. They clear the house for sale, transfer the ownership to the buyer, and the respective funds to the seller.
The escrow fee is the remuneration charged by the escrow agent for their services.
4. Home Inspection Fee
Sellers can opt for a home inspection to identify any major defects and issues, like plumbing issues, water damage, mold, appliance malfunction, etc., in the house that they must resolve before selling.
This can be done before the property is listed on the market (pre-inspection) or just before the closing. Home inspection in California usually costs around $400-$600.
The buyer can also undertake a home inspection. However, if the home inspectors in California finds undisclosed defects, it might give the buyer an upper hand during negotiations, or they may back out of the deal. Whereas selling a home as is in California indicates that the property will not go under any maintenance.
» How Much are Closing Costs in California for Seller: Find out the details of ALL the closing costs in California for sellers.
How Much are Closing Costs for Buyers in California?
These are the closing costs paid by the buyer while acquiring the property ownership from the seller. Like seller closing costs, these too are negotiable. Hence, hiring a buyer’s agent can help you save on closing costs.
We have listed some of the prime buyer closing costs.
1. Loan Origination Fees
Some mortgage lenders charge buyers a loan origination fee to execute the loan with other respective documentation and legal formalities. The loan origination fee usually amounts to 1% of the mortgage loan amount.
2. Mortgage Escrow Account/ Impound Account
A part of the buyer’s monthly mortgage payments are reserved in an escrow or impound account by the best mortgage lenders in California. This reserve is maintained to pay the property tax and homeowners insurance premiums.
A mortgage servicer manages the mortgage escrow account and makes the payments on behalf of the buyer.
3. Appraisal Fee
Appraisal fees are paid to the professional appraiser who assesses the home value and ensures you get the best competitive price.
The cost for home appraisal in California varies between $300 and $500, depending on the property characteristics like its actual saleable area and its geographical location.
4. Title Insurance
A title company offers California title insurance to protect the insurer against any type of loss with respect to any outstanding taxes, unpaid dues, default in the title, or any violations. Title insurance in California could cost around $200-$250.
» Who Pays for Title Insurance in California: Check out who pays for title insurance in CA
5. Land Survey Fee
A land survey is mandatory by law for buyers in California & Florida. The cost of a land survey may start from $250 and go further depending on the size of the land.
» How Much are Buyer Closing Costs in California: Find out the details of ALL the closing costs in California for buyers.
How are Closing Costs Calculated?
It is important to calculate closing costs while selling a house or buying one.
The estimated closing costs give sellers an idea about the home equity they will have after the sale and helps buyers find out the amount they will have to pay over and above the agreement value of the house.
» Closing Cost Calculator: Check out the closing costs calculator for calculating the closing costs for your real estate transaction.
How to Calculate Closing Costs for Seller?
Houzeo’s Home Sale Calculator helps calculate closing costs for sellers in California with a swish and a click! All the sellers have to do is enter their property location, home sale price, mortgage payoff, seller agent commission, and buyer agent commission and voila!
The Seller Closing Cost Calculator even gives sellers the estimate of their home inspection fee and home warranty fee. With the help of this home sale proceeds calculator, sellers can find out their home equity and be prepared for closing.
» Seller Closing Cost Calculator California: Check out the seller closing costs calculator for calculating the closing costs for seller.
How to Calculate Closing Costs for Buyer?
Houzeo’s Buyer Closing Cost Calculator helps calculate closing costs for buyers in California. For finding the estimated buyer closing costs, the buyers have to add the property location, home purchase price, and the down payment in the buyer closing cost estimator.
The closing cost calculator for buyer gives a detailed list of the estimated closing costs for buyer in California.
Home buyers can find out everything right from origination fee, appraisal fee and survey fee to title search, attorney fee, recording fee, prepaid interest charges, escrow property taxes, and owner’s title insurance.
The Buyers Closing Cost Calculator even shows which fees have to be paid before closing and which ones have to be paid at closing while buying a house in California.
» Buyer Closing Cost Calculator California: Check out the closing costs calculator for buyer for calculating the closing costs for buyer.
Closing Costs in California for Refinance
Before we dive into closing costs for refinance, let’s look at the term refinance:
What is Refinancing?
Refinance, also called “Refi,” is nothing but replacing your current loan with one that offers a lower rate of interest. This helps lower monthly mortgage payments.
How Much are Closing Costs in California for Refinance?
Refinancing closing costs are the sum of several expenses paid against any services that were used in the process of underwriting and closing on your mortgage loan, which makes up 3%-5% of the mortgage amount.
The closing cost for refinancing would vary with respect to the property’s location. Overall, California mortgage refi closing costs are the highest in the nation.
Junk Closing Costs to Watch Out For
Junk costs are the additional costs that are imposed by the mortgage lender. These are usually excessive but can be challenged and negotiated for a fairer price. Some of these are:
- Application Fee: The buyer pays this fee to the lender when applying for the mortgage. Not all lenders charge an application fee.
- Loan Processing Fee: This fee is charged by the lender to execute the loan once it has been approved. Borrowers can negotiate for these charges to be waived.
- Mortgage Rate Lock Fee: This fee is a guarantee that the lender will honor the pre-agreed interest rate for a said amount for a set period.
- Underwriting Fee: Mortgage underwriters charge an underwriting fee to evaluate and verify loan applications. It is a non-recurring fee. Some lenders charge it in place of the originating fee, while others charge it in addition to the same.
- Courier Fee: A fee of $20-$50 is typically charged in order to cover the courier transactions.
Note: The costs vary by region.
The closing cost of selling a house in California is the mandatory fee that needs to be paid by the seller & the buyer. This is paid over and above the mortgage loan amount. Where the buyer pays 2%-5% and the seller pays 6%-10% against their share of the closing cost.
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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.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much are closing costs in California?
The closing cost in California for buyers are approximately 2%–5% of the home’s agreement value. While the sellers are expected to pay around 6–10% of the home’s purchase price. For sellers, that includes the agency commission too.
2. How much are closing costs in California for buyer?
The buyer closing costs are the charges paid by the buyer while acquiring the property ownership from the seller. These charges included several fees that need to be paid over and above the agreement amount and are negotiable too. Hence, you would need the best listing agent that would benefit you in this deal.
3. How much are closing costs in California for seller?
The seller closing costs are the charges paid by the seller while transferring the property ownership to the buyer. These charges included several fees that need to be paid over and above the agreed amount and are negotiable too. Hence, you would need the best listing agent that would benefit you in this deal.
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