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How Much Are Closing Costs in PA?

House with a sold signThinking about selling your home? Here's what you need to know to sell your home in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Real Estate and Seller Disclosure Act requires PA home sellers to provide the buyer with a property disclosure statement for all residential real estate transfers. The law requires the seller to provide the home buyer with a signed and dated property disclosure statement prior to the execution of an agreement of sale. The seller disclosure statement itemizes a variety of issues regarding the condition of the home to the best knowledge of the seller.

The Seller Closing Cost Calculator will estimate your settlement costs; including the Pennsylvania deed transfer tax and seller paid closing costs (if applicable). The Listing Price Calculator will help you estimate the cost of selling your home.

Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992e - Home sellers are required to provide the buyer with a Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home pamphlet. The home seller is required to inform the buyer of any known information regarding lead based paint or lead-based paint hazards and provide the home buyer with a Lead Warning Statement.

Frequently asked questions about selling a home in PA

► Should I get a home inspection for mold?

Many home buyers are requesting a mold inspection in addition to the normal home inspection. If you believe your home is vulnerable to mold (or contains mold), you should obtain a mold inspection and remedy the problem before your put the house up for sale.

► Should a home seller, get a home inspection?

I believe all home sellers should get a home inspection before they sell their home. Here's why. Most home buyers will drive the sales price as low as you will agree to and will then want a home inspection. With most home sales, the buyer's home inspector will probably find "needed" repairs. When this occurs, the home buyer usually asks for a price reduction or will want repairs made to the house . . . whether the repairs are necessary or not. Prudent home sellers can head off home inspection problems or further price reductions with a home inspection of their own before offering the home for sale.

► Should a seller get a home appraisal?

Home buyers will find it awfully hard to argue with a home appraisal. If possible, obtain a home appraisal prior to selling. If you do have the house appraised, that doesn't mean you are obligated to disclose the appraisal and the appraised value to the buyer. If the buyer is insistent that the house is not worth what you are asking, pull out the appraisal. 

Cost to sell a house in Pennsylvania

Unlike the home buyer, the closing costs for sellers in Pennsylvania are few but can be costly. You can use the PA Seller Closing Cost Calculator to estimate the seller's closing costs in Pennsylvania. Here's a list of the likely closing costs.

Closing fee (settlement fee)

After all the details of the sale are wrapped up, the buyer and seller will meet to sign the transfer documents. Settlement will be conducted by either a closing attorney or a title insurance agent. The attorney or title insurance agent may charge a settlement fee. Settlement fees vary from 0 - $200. Estimate $100

Deed preparation

The seller will be expected to prepare a deed for the buyer. The cost will vary between closing attorneys and title insurance agents. Estimated cost - $100

Pennsylvania deed transfer tax

Pennsylvania requires a deed transfer tax for property transfers. Think of it as a sales tax on real estate. The State of Pennsylvania charges 1% of the sales price and the municipality and school district USUALLY charge 1% between them for a total of 2% (i.e. 2% X 100,000 = $2,000). There are exceptions (for example, parent to child). You should call your municipality for the correct transfer tax percentage; and make sure you add the Pennsylvania 1%. By custom, the buyer and seller split the cost. 1% to buyer, 1% to seller, however, payment by buyer or seller is dictated by the sales contract. Deed Transfer Tax Page

Municipal dye test

In some urban areas, notably the City of Pittsburgh and parts of Allegheny County, the seller may be required to obtain a dye test. In past years, rainwater from the gutters were channeled into the sanitary and storm water pipes. With the expansion of new construction, the sanitary and storm water systems became overloaded with the additional water. So some municipalities require home owners to obtain a "dye test". A dye pack is flushed down the commode 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. Needless to say, if there is discharge into these systems, the seller will be required to correct the discharge. The cost will vary. A prudent seller will contact the municipality prior to putting up the for sale sign.

Dye test to plumber

If the municipality requires a dye test, a registered plumber is usually responsible for performing the dye test. Estimate $100 - $200 for the plumber's service.

Document preparation

Buyers and sellers at the closing tableSome closing attorneys will charge a document preparation fee in lieu of a deed preparation fee, however, some settlement companies/attorneys will charge a "doc prep" fee in addition to the deed preparation. Figure $200

Home warranty

The buyer may request a home warranty. The cost will vary, estimate $450.

Notary fee - Self-explanatory

No lien letter

Does the municipality have a lien on the home? The only way to know for sure is to obtain a "no lien letter". The settlement company will obtain this information from the municipality. The charge for the tax certification and lien letter varies widely across Pennsylvania - anywhere from $5.00 - $200.

Occupancy permit

Some municipalities charge an occupancy permit, some do not. In some municipalities it's the responsibility of the seller, in other's it the responsibility of the buyer. Another question for the municipality.

Overnight mailing fee(s)

If the seller has a mortgage covering the property, the settlement company may charge for overnight mailing the payoff (final payment) to the mortgage company. The cost, if charged will vary, estimate $20 (although it might be higher).

Pest inspection repairs, radon system

If a pest inspection reveals infestation, the seller will be expected to treat the property. Cost . . . ? Some home buyers will obtain a radon inspection. If radon is present in the home, the buyer may request a radon system. Cost . . . ?

Property tax proraton

At settlement, the real estate taxes will be "prorated". In short, any property taxes (local, school & county) that were paid by the seller for the time the buyer owns the property will be reimbursed to the seller. However, if the real estate taxes were not paid by the seller during their ownership, then the seller will be expected to pay this cost to the buyer. The seller will not pay the buyer's real estate taxes and visa versa. Tax proration calculator will estimate the property tax proration.

Real estate agency fee (coordination fee, warehouse fee, administration fee, etc.)

Some real estate agencies may require an additional fee up and over the real estate commission to sell a house. This fee, if charged, can vary from $50 - $500. Estimate $200.

Real estate agent commission

By law, the real estate commission is negotiable. In most cases, you will only pay a percentage of the sales price when the home sells. Some real estate brokers may charge you a flat fee if the sales price is too low. Estimate 6% X sales price

Seller paid closing costs

Emoticon holding a help wanted signThe home seller may be asked to pay a percentage of the sales price or flat dollar amount toward the buyer's closing costs.

This cost is a reduction from the profit from the sale of the home. Learn more about the seller assistance

Real estate tax certification

The closing attorney or settlement company will contact the municipality and request a "tax certification" letter. The "tax cert" as it is called, itemizes the real estate taxes on the home and whether any taxes are due or are paid in full. Cost varies, estimate $100 to be safe, but it is likely to be less. Call the local tax collector for exact cost.