14 Common California Home Seller Fees – Explained

When you sell your home, it’s important you understand the smorgasbord of home selling fees that are involved. This post will list all the most common fees paid by California home sellers. It will also explain when and why each one is incurred.

Seller Closing Costs

  1. Listing agent commission

    You pay this commission if you use a listing agent to sell your home. The cost is generally 3% of the total home sale. OR…

  2. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) fees

    You pay this fee in order to have your listing advertised on the MLS and MLS-powered sites like Realtor.com and Redfin. In most circumstances, you will only pay this fee if you opt to sell without an agent. Cost varies based on service used, but is typically $299 to 2% of total sale price. See the three most common FSBO options compared here.

  3. Buyer’s agent commission

    Sellers are responsible for paying buyer’s agent fees. This fee is optional by law, but offering less than the traditional 2.5 to 3% commission is frowned upon by buyer agents and can result in your listing being passed over by them.

  4. Notary fees

    Fee paid to a notary public to verify your identity and ensure proper execution of paperwork.

  5. Escrow fees

    Fee to escrow agent, who coordinates the transfer of title and cash. (Check out the escrow timeline in California)

  6. Title search fees

    Fee for the document that proves you have a legal right to sell your home and insures the buyer if you don’t.

  7. Mortgage balance payoff

    The cost of repaying your home loan is deducted from the sale price of your home. This cost can include a loan payoff fee, which will vary by lender and may include a prepayment penalty fee outlined in your mortgage.

  8. Closing cost concessions

    If the buyer asks you to cover their closing costs and you agree, you will pay their fees, which could be in the range of 3% of the purchase price.

  9. Cost of home warranty

    A home warranty is a common closing concession provided by the seller to the buyer. The price varies based on location and is generally $250 to $1,000.

  10. City or county transfer fees

    Cost varies by location. In some areas, there are no transfer fees.

  11. Home Owner’s Association (HOA) transfer fee

    An HOA transfer fee is only valid if the property you are selling has an HOA. Typically less than $1,000.

  12. Termite inspection fee

    May be required depending on location & type of loan buyer is using. A termite inspection fee typically costs around $100. Subsequent repairs are typically between $1,000 and $5,000.

  13. Natural Hazard Disclosure Report

    Commonly ordered. These reports detail things like natural hazards in your area, such as earthquake fault lines and flood zones, and often include other nuisances such as airplane noise. Generally costs around $120.

  14. Lien release document fee

    If a lien was placed on your property after a court judgment, you must pay that money before the sale can close. You may also have to pay a recording fee to show your debts have been paid.

By educating yourself on what the various seller fees are and what they accomplish, you now have a more comprehensive understanding of the out-of-pocket costs associated with selling your California home.


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