San Diego Home Seller’s Guide to Local Real Estate Rules

Home sellers face a range of different costs and disclosure requirements that vary from location to location. Before you put your home on the market, you should learn about county-specific fees and regulations that you can expect to encounter in San Diego, California.San-Diego-home-1.jpg  Photo source: HomeBay Listing

Transfer Taxes:

San Diego charges a transfer tax on almost all real estate transactions. Some exemptions exist, such as a parent giving a home to a child. However, in most cases, as of 2016, the transfer tax is 55 cents for every $500. That means that on a $500,000 home, the transfer tax is $550. On a million dollar home, the transfer tax is double that, or $1,100. San Diego County doesn’t specify whether the buyer or seller has to pay the transfer tax. In many transactions, they split the fee.

Outstanding Property Tax Bills:

In San Diego County, property taxes are assessed every six months. If you sell your home in the middle of a property tax and you haven’t paid your bill yet, you may owe your buyers some money. You’ll need to prorate the costs you’ve accumulated to figure out what you owe. 

The first property tax period in San Diego County runs from January 1 to June 30. If you sell your home on February 20, you likely have not paid the property tax bill for those months yet. As a result, you will need to prorate your bill and give the buyer the portion of taxes due for the period from January 1 to February 20.

Seller Disclosures:

Whether you sell a home in San Diego County or anywhere else, you are required to make a number of disclosures to your buyer. These usually doesn’t cost anything the process is typically as easy as downloading a few forms and jotting down some information. In California, you must provide disclosures on everything from a leaky roof to any deaths that occurred on your property in the last three years.



In addition to disclosures, you also have to ensure your home has adequate bracing for your water heater, functioning smoke detectors and working carbon monoxide detectors. All of these safety items are relatively inexpensive.

HOA Transfer Fees:

Many HOAs charge transfer fees, ranging from $150 to $1,000, which cover administrative costs related to changing the owner’s names in the HOA database as well as costs related to issuing new keys or codes for common areas. In California, HOA transfer fees may also cover costs related to preparing HOA documents and disclosures for the buyer.

Selling a home can be expensive, but if you know which costs you are going to face, there won’t be any surprises.


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