Who Pays What in a Home Sale?

One come thing that always comes up with the sale or purchase of a home is “who pays what in a home sale?”  The following lists will help.  Keep in mind many of these things can be negotiated, but this will help understand what is customary.


The Seller

  • Real Estate Commission
  • Document preparation fee for Deed
  • Payoff of all loans in the seller’s name (or existing loan balance if being assumed by Buyer)
  • Interest accrued to lender being paid off
  • Statement Fees, Reconveyance Fees, and any prepayment penalties to Payoff Lender
  • Termite Inspection (according to contract)
  • Home Warranty (according to contract)
  • Any judgments, tax liens, etc. against the seller
  • Tax proration (for any taxes unpaid at time of transfer of title)
  • Any unpaid Homeowners Association dues
  • Recording charges to clear documents of record against seller
  • Any bonds or assessments (according to contract)
  • Any and all delinquent taxes
  • Notary Fees
  • Escrow Fee (one half)
  • Title Insurance Premium of Owner’s Policy
The Buyer

  • Title Insurance Premium for Lender’s Policy
  • Escrow Fee (one half)
  • Document preparation (if applicable)
  • Notary fees
  • Recording charges for all documents in Buyer’s name
  • Termite Inspection (according to contract)
  • Tax proration (from date of acquisition)
  • Homeowners Association transfer fee
  • HOA proration (from date of acquisition)
  • All new loan charges (except those required by lender for seller to pay)
  • Interest on new loan from date of funding to 20 days prior to first payment date
  • Assumption/Change of Record fees for takeover of existing loan if applicable
  • Inspection Fees (roofing, property inspection, geological)
  • Home Warranty (according to contract)
  • Fire Insurance Premium fir first year
  • Any bonds or assessments (according to contract)


Personal Property vs Real Property

The distinction between personal property and real property can be the source of difficulties in a real estate transaction.  A purchase contract is normally written to include all real property; that is, all aspects of the property that are fastened down or which are an integral part of the structure.  For example, this would include light fixtures, drapery rods, attached mirrors, trees and shrubs in the ground.  It would not include potted plants, free-standing refrigerators, washer/dryer, microwave, bookcases, lamps, etc.

If there is any uncertainty on who pays what in a home sale, it is best to be sure that the particular item is mentioned in the purchase agreement as being included or excluded.