If you’re ready to put your Washington, DC, home on the market, our DC closing cost calculator can help you estimate your net proceeds. Costs will vary depending on the real estate market you live in, home value, listing commissions, and other criteria.
Washington, DC, closing costs calculator
Breakdown of seller closing costs in Washington, DC
🔍 Closing Cost
📈 Average Rate
Prorated from $6,163
* Amount calculations based on the median D.C. home price of $725,000.
Realtor commission fees
Sellers pay a commission to their agent and the buyer’s agent, typically adding up to 5.25% of the total sale price. A growing number of sellers are now turning to low commission agents who charge less than the standard 2.5–3% listing fee. However, you’ll still need to pay the buyer’s agent, and that remains their typical commission range.
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Deed transfer tax
The District of Columbia sets a tax rate for title transfers of real property. The rate is a percentage of the home sales price. Either or both the buyer and seller must pay this tax, but it’s usually the seller.
Courier/overnight wire fees
Prepping and recording documents and mortgage payoffs often requires additional administrative services. Therefore, the fees associated with those services may be billed separately or wrapped up in your settlement fee.
Your DC settlement attorney will prepare and file the new deed with the office of Land Records in the new owner’s name for a fee. Only the seller, the buyer, or an attorney is allowed to prepare the deed in DC It must follow specific legal requirements to be accurate and binding.
Homeowner association fees
HOAs and condominiums charge property owners fees for various services and amenities. They’re typically due yearly, quarterly, or monthly. You must pay those dues and bring the account current by the settlement date. Your HOA may also charge a transfer fee to assign the membership to the new owner.
A seller’s home warranty protects you if something happens to your home’s HVAC or other major systems and appliances before the sale is final. It’s optional in Washington, DC. But it can be a convincing incentive, especially when paired with a buyer’s warranty. Many companies will waive or lower the fee for the seller’s warranty when you pay a year’s premium on a buyer’s warranty for post-sale coverage.
Mortgage release fee
If you have a mortgage or home equity loan, you’ll need proof that you’ve paid it off when you sell your home. In addition, the buyer and their settlement agent need documentation showing that the lien has been removed. Your mortgage release fee covers filing a Certificate of Satisfaction or Release of Lien with the Land Records office.
Real estate tax proration
DC property tax bills are due bi-annually on March 31 and September 15. The March 31 payment covers October 1 (of the previous year) through March 31 (of the current year). Therefore, the second payment on September 15 covers the six months following that payment period: April 1 through September 30 of the current year. So, the closing date determines whether you’ve already paid part of the tax bill and how many months are still outstanding. The settlement attorney uses that information to determine the prorated amount you’ll owe at closing.
Real estate law in DC mandates attorney services for home sales closings. Your seller settlement fee covers services like helping resolve liens, sales contract review and evaluation, documentation preparation, and closing services on the day of settlement.
Termite treatment / repairs
You must disclose that information if you have a history of termites or other insect infestation. The buyer will likely require a termite inspection to ensure the problem has been corrected. Getting an inspection even without past issues may be a good idea. You can show potential buyers they have nothing to worry about. In addition, the VA requires an inspection for veteran buyers. You must also pay for treatment and repairs if the examination reveals infestation and damage.
The DC Water and Sewer Authority may place title liens against homeowners for unpaid water utility bills. The home could face a tax sale if the lien isn’t paid within 180 days. Settlement companies require water escrow funds to prevent that problem. The money is used to pay the final water bill and any remaining balance will be refunded to the seller.
The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) taxes non-resident foreign entities when they sell real property in the U.S. The buyer or settlement company must withhold 10-15% of the purchase price (depending on the amount) for this purpose. The tax doesn’t apply if the price isn’t higher than $300,000 and the buyer will use the home as their primary residence. Some foreign sellers may also earn an exclusion via an IRS withholding certificate.
How to save on seller closing costs in DC
✅ Sell with a low-commission realtor
Another option where you have more control is signing with a low-commission listing agent to avoid the standard 2.5-3% listing rate. If you want to save, an agent-matching service can connect you with experienced low-commission real estate agents to sell your home.
We recommend Clever Real Estate: it pre-negotiates low commission rates for sellers, with listing fees as low as 1%.
✅ Negotiate closing costs with the buyer
Some of the responsibility for closing costs is negotiable in a home sales contract. For example, buyers may be willing to pay part of the seller’s closing costs in a hot seller's market. It’s one way to stand out in a crowd of eager buyers competing for the same house.
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Clever pre-negotiates low rates with top agents nationwide. Compare local agents, get full service, save up to 50% on realtor fees at closing. Clever is free to use with no obligation. Give it a try today!
DC Closing Costs FAQ
Seller closing costs in DC average approximately 2.2% of the home sales price, which is $6,050 on a $275,000 home (median sales price). Sellers must also subtract realtor commissions from their sales proceeds, which is an average of 5.25%. Sellers can save money on closing costs by negotiating with the buyer or signing with a low-commission listing agent.
DC buyers pay for title insurance, which is required by lenders. An owner’s policy isn’t required, but either the seller or the buyer may opt to purchase one if they choose.
The seller traditionally pays the deed transfer tax in DC, and the buyer pays the deed recordation tax. You can negotiate these taxes, since no law mandates that practice.
The recordation tax in DC is the amount the district charges to record the home sale with the Land Records office. The buyer usually pays for it. The current recordation tax rate in DC is 1.1% for sales up to $400,000 and 1.45% for purchases above that amount.