Closing on a home can be one of the most exciting moments for you as a seller, but it can quickly become a stressful one if you aren’t prepared. Currently, the median price of homes in Wisconsin is $270,000. This means you may end up paying $21,600-$27,000 as seller closing costs in Wisconsin.
- 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.
- Typically, the closing process in Wisconsin is managed by a title company or an attorney.
- Due to different fees and statute requirements, closing costs vary in municipalities and states.
💰 CALCULATE YOUR CLOSING COSTS
What are Closing Costs in Wisconsin?
Closing costs in Wisconsin 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. Some are closing costs negotiable, while others are non-negotiable, like taxes charged by your state or local jurisdiction.
Who Pays Closing Costs in Wisconsin?
Both the seller and buyer pay the closing costs. Although the buyer has to pay more number of fees as closing expenses, a seller has to pay a higher amount as closing costs.
Most of the seller’s closing costs are deducted from the proceeds they get from the property. As such, the seller needs enough equity to cover some of the expenses.
A real estate agent in WI 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 agent can help lower your closing costs. Remember, some of the fees are negotiable, which your agent can discuss with you.
» How to Sell My House Fast in Wisconsin: Know How to Sell Your House Fast in Wisconsin and for the Most Cash!
How Much are Closing Costs in Wisconsin?
The estimated closing costs for sellers could reach up to 8% to 10% of the final sale price of the home, not including the mortgage payoff. The biggest closing cost (5%-6%) the seller has to pay is the commission of the listing and buyer’s agent. The remaining 3%-4% includes expenses like home inspection fee, HOA fee, estoppel fee, etc.
Let’s take a deeper look at these!
What Are the Different Home Seller Closing Costs in Wisconsin?
1. Attorney’s Fee
Sellers usually hire real estate attorneys to draft documents like Wisconsin real estate disclosures and review contracts, especially when no real estate brokers are involved or there are any legal issues with the property. However, you can hire a real estate attorney even if your case is not unusual.
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 attorney fee will be split.
Typically, attorneys charge between $400 and $700 in Wisconsin, depending on the type of home being sold and the type of sale it is.
2. Credits Towards Closing Costs
You can offer to help buyers with 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 Wisconsin for Buyer: Here is a detailed breakdown of buyer closing costs in Wisconsin.
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 WI 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 WI home inspector before selling the house to improve its market value.
In Wisconsin, you must disclose any property defects that could have a negative impact on the value of the property, the health of its future occupants, or the life of the property. This includes:
- Structural Defects: Issues with the roof, foundation, electrical system, equipment, and plumbing,
- Environmental Defects: These include pest infestation and the presence of hazardous substances like radon, asbestos, mold, etc.
- Land Issues: Information about zoning violations, easements, and related encumbrances.
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. They also have the right to take legal action against you if they discover undisclosed defects after the sale is complete.
So, how much does a home inspection cost in Wisconsin? It can cost $300-$500 based on the location and size of the property.
» What is the Cost of a Home Inspection in Wisconsin: Home inspection is a crucial part of a real estate transaction. Find out more.
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.
Wisconsin home warranty can cost $300-$650 based on the services and coverage offered.
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 $0-$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.
10. Mortgage Payoff
Mortgage payoff will most likely be one of the biggest items on your list of paymnets. You’ll have to pay off any remaining principal 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 Wisconsin
The title insurance rates in Wisconsin are based on the property value. There are two types of title insurance in WI, owner’s and lenders. Primarily, you, the seller, will pay for the owner’s title insurance in Wisconsin. This protects the buyer 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.
Usually, the title insurance cost in Wisconsin is 0.43% of the property value. However, it may vary according to the prices set by the insurance firm.
» Who Pays for Owner’s Title Insurance in Wisconsin: Find out if owner’s title insurance is a necessary purchase for you.
13. Property Taxes
The owner of the house has to pay property tax proportionate to the home value to the local government. The statewide average property tax in Wisconsin is 1.68% of the assessed property value. In the badger state, Milwaukee county has the highest average property tax at 2.53%, while Vilas county has the lowest average at 0.97%.
Property tax can be paid annually or at the time of the real estate transaction. You must pay prorated property tax according to the date of purchase at closing.
14. Realtor Fees Wisconsin
The realtor commission in Wisconsin is the biggest cost you need to pay. However, it’s negotiable and typically paid from the proceeds of your house sale. The average realtor commission in Wisconsin is 5.6% (listing agent commission + buyer’s agent commission which costs 2% to 3% of the total sales price). However, with negotiations Wisconsin, realtor commission rates can vary from 3% to 5%.
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 Wisconsin 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 Your House By Owner in Wisconsin: Everything you NEED to know to sell your house without a realtor in Wisconsin.
15. Settlement 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.
In Wisconsin, the escrow agent or title company agent should also be registered as a closing agent to offer settlement services.
16. Transfer Tax
Transfer tax is levied by the municipality, county, or state to the transfer of ownership of the house from the seller to the owner. The tax amount is based on the market value of the property.
So, how much is Wisconsin real estate transfer fee? Currently, the state charges a transfer tax amounting to $3 per $1,000 of the sale price.
In Wisconsin, transfer tax is usually paid by the seller. However, you can negotiate this expense with the buyer.
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 acre any dues, you must clear them at closing.
Wisconsin Capital Gains Tax
Capital gains tax is levied on the profit you make when you sell your home. The amount of the tax depends on your income bracket, marital status, type of property (primary residential, secondary residential, or investment), and how long you have owned the house.
If you are selling the house after at least 1 year of purchase, your capital gain or loss is long-term. Depending on your income the capital gain tax will then be 0%-20%.
The capital gains tax in most U.S. states ranges from 2.9% -13.3%. The average capital gains tax in Wisconson is 7.65%
Though capital gains tax is paid at closing, it is not considered a closing cost.
How to Reduce Closing Costs in Wisconsin?
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 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 Wisconsin” services. Houzeo offers Flat Fee MLS packages for FSBO sellers in Illinois 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 Wisconsin: Here is our pick of companies that offer Flat Fee MLS services in Wisconsin.
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 Wisconsin 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.
Wisconsin Closing Costs Calculator
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 Closing Cost Estimator is frequently calibrated to give sellers the closest estimate according to market conditions.
» Seller Closing Costs Wisconsin Calculator: Check your closing costs now!
How Should I Prepare for My Wisconsin Home Closing?
Your closing agent will schedule a date for your closing. Here’s how to prepare for your closing day.
1. Review Your Closing Documents in Advance:
Closing documents should generally be available to you in advance of the scheduled closing date. Review these documents at length and understand their provisions. Here are some key documents you’ll likely sign at closing:
- The HUD-1 or Closing Disclosure: Most Wisconsin homes are purchased with a mortgage. If this is the case on your transaction, you’ll get the Closing Disclosure summarizing the costs in detail. If your transaction is all cash, you may get the HUD-1, although this is less common. These documents detail amounts you’re being charged for, your loan payoffs if any, and the net proceeds 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.
- Statement of Closing Costs: This statement summarizes all the expenses involved in the transaction. This document is easier to understand vs. the HUD-1/Closing Disclosure, but they should tie.
- Certificate of Title: Allows you to state that you have the right to sell the property fast.
2. Ask Questions
If this is your first time selling a house in Wisconsin, schedule an appointment with the closing agent before the date of the closing. Prior to that appointment, do your research and ask clarifying questions on anything you have doubts about.
3. Bring TWO Forms of Official ID
There will likely be a licensed notary involved who’ll require that you swear you are who you say you are. Take a valid driver’s license or passport for ID. Carry a secondary ID as well, just in case.
Now you’re ready! You might’ve heard horror stories of people being blindsided by how much is closing cost in Wisconsin – 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 Wisconsin, 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!
» NEED MORE CLARITY? Read these exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why it is one of the best FSBO sites in America.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are seller closing costs in Wisconsin tax deductible?
Yes. You can claim tax deductions on some closing costs that are considered taxes or insurance.
2. Who pays for title insurance buyer or seller in Wisconsin?
Usually, the seller pays for the owner's title insurance in Wisconsin. However, you can negotiate this cost with the buyer. If the buyer has opted for a mortgage, they will pay for the lender's title insurance.
3. How is closing cost for sellers calculated?
Closing costs are a sum of specific settlement expenses. These vary according to the location, mortgage rates, and market conditions. Houzeo's closing cost estimator is a free tool sellers can use to get a close estimate of settlement costs.
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- Who Pays Realtor Fees in Wisconsin: There are over 17,000 REALTORS in Wisconsin which may it tough for you to pick the right one. In this blog, we will help you with picking the right REALTOR®.
- Who Pays Closing Costs on a House in Wisconsin: Closing costs vary according to the type of real estate transaction. Read more.
- How Much is Real Estate Commission in Wisconsin: Realtor commission is the biggest seller closing cost in WI, Read more.
- Cost of Home Appraisal in Wisconsin: Opting for a pre-listing appraisal can lower the number of days your property stays on the market. Read more.
- Selling House AS IS in Wisconsin: Want to sell a house in Illinois in its current state? Here are some important things to consider.
- Sell House Fast in Wisconsin: Learn about how you can sell your house fast in Wisconsin.
- Who Pays for Lender’s Title Insurance in Wisconsin: Find out more about this type of title insurance in Wisconsin.
- How to Calculate Closing Costs for Buyer in Wisconsin: Get an estimate of buyer closing costs in Wisconsin with Houzeo’s calculator.
- Is the Housing Market Going to Crash in Wisconsin: Read about housing market trends in Wisconsin.
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