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Common Home Selling Question: What would closing costs (settlement costs) be on a home in Pennsylvania?

This is a home selling question I get asked a lot so I’d figure I’d address it on this blog.  The short answer is it depends.  If I buy a house and there are no real estate agents involved but just a real estate attorney you can expect to pay:

  1. A title service fee equal to 0.85% -1.25% of the sale price
  2. A 1% transfer tax (depending on the Pennsylvania County and I am assuming you are splitting the transfer tax with the home buyer)

Now if you decide to use a real estate agent then the closing costs will be higher by another 5-7%.  While closing costs vary throughout the United States, a home buyer or home seller who is knowledgeable about closing costs may well be able to reduce their closing costs by prior planning.  Below is a list of likely closing costs in Pennsylvania:

  • Real estate commissions – real estate commission are negotiable and you will pay a percentage of the sales price at closing. This is how the real estate agent and their office get paid.
  • Transfer tax – think of this as sales tax when buying/selling a home. The chart below has transfer taxes by Pennsylvania County.
  • Deed Preparation – the home seller is expected to prepare this for the home buyer. The title company or real estate attorney handles this and the cost is $50-150.  The real estate attorney, Title Company, or real estate agent will contact local municipalities for this additional information:
    • Tax certification letter – The real estate attorney, Title Company, or real estate agent will contact the municipality for this information. It makes sure the home seller’s real estate taxes are update to date.
    • No liens – Does the municipality have lien on the home?
    • Occupancy permit – varies by municipality. Some require it, some it is buyers responsibility.
  • Document preparation – real estate attorneys or title companies could charge a document preparation fee in addition to the deed preparation fee. Assume a cost around $150-$250.
  • Closing Fee – real estate attorneys or title insurance companies could charge a settlement fee for conducting the closing. This fee ranges from 0 – $200.
  • Dye Test – this is only counties in the Pittsburgh area, notably Allegheny County. A dye pack is flushed down the toilet and gutter and either a plumber or the municipality will open up the sanitary sewer and storm water access to see if the dye is entering either system. If there is discharge into these systems, the home seller will be required to correct the discharge. This cost will vary.

Additional costs to the home seller could be:

  • Home Warranty – cost around $400-$650
  • Home Seller helps home buyer pay some of the home buyer’s closing costs.

Below is a chart of transfer taxes by Pennsylvania County:

County Local Tax School Tax Pennsylvania Total
Adams County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Allegheny County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— Bellevue Borough 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— Bethel Park Municipality 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— Greentree Borough 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— Hampton Township 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— McCandles Township 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— Mckeesport City 1.50% 0.50% 1.00% 3.00%
— Monroeville Municipality 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— Mt. Lebanon Municipality 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— Mt. Oliver Borough 1.00% 1.00% 1.00% 3.00%
— O’hara Township 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— Penn Hills Municipality 1.50% 0.50% 1.00% 3.00%
— Pine Township 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— Pittsburgh, City Of 2.00% 1.00% 1.00% 4.00%
— Upper St. Clair Township 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— West Deer Township 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
— Whitehall Borough 0.750% 0.50% 1.00% 2.25%
Armstrong County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Beaver County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Bedford County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Berks County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— City Of Reading
School District Is Included In 4%
4.00% 1.00% 5.00%
Blair County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Bradford County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Bucks County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Butler County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Cambria County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Cameron County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Carbon County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Centre County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— Ferguson Township 1.25% 0.50% 1.00% 2.75%
— State College Borough 1.25% 0.50% 1.00% 2.75%
— Taylor Township .050% 0.000 1.00% 1.50%
Chester County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— City Of Coatesville 1.50% 0.50% 1.00% 3.00%
— Tredyffrin Township 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
Clarion County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Clearfield County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Clinton County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— Colebrook Township 0.000 0.50% 1.00% 1.50%
— East Kating Township 0.000 0.50% 1.00% 1.50%
Columbia County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Crawford County – 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— Borough Of Edinboro 1.00% .500 1.00% 2.50%
Cumberland County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Dauphin County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Delaware County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— Randor Township 0.75% 0.75% 1.00% 2.50%
— Upper Providence Township 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
Elk County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Erie County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Fayette County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Forest County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Franklin County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Fulton County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Greene County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Huntingdon County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Indiana County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Jefferson County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Juniata County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Lackawanna County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— City Of Scranton 2.80% 0.50% 1.00% 4.30%
Lancaster County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Lawrence County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Lebanon County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Lehigh County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Luzerne County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— City Of Wilkes Barre 2.00% 0.50% 1.00% 3.50%
— Kingston Borough 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
Lycoming County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Mckean County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Mercer County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Mifflin County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Monroe County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Montgomery County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Montour County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
North Hampton County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Northumberland County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Perry County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Philadelphia County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— City Of Philadelphia
* School District Is Included In 3%
3.00% 1.00% 4.00%
Pike County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Potter County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Schuylkill County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Snyder County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Somerset County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— Wellersburg Borough 0.50% – 0 – 1.00% 1.50%
Sullivan County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Susquehanna County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Tioga County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Union County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Venango County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Warren County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Washington County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
— Peters Township 1.00% 0.50% 1.00% 2.50%
Wayne County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Westmoreland County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
Wyoming County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
York County 0.50% 0.50% 1.00% 2.00%
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August 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment