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San Francisco Real Estate Closing Costs: Who Pays What?

October 24, 2008

Here's a guide to closing costs. In other words, who pays what?

This list is a general guideline of charges and may not be wholly inclusive for your transaction.

The Seller customarily pays:

  • Real Estate Commissions
  • Document Preparation for Deed
  • Documentary Transfer Tax (amount is dependent upon sales price)
  • Payoff of all Loans against the Property
  • Interest Accrued on Loans Being Paid Off, Reconveyance Fees and Pre-Payment Penalties
  • Home Warranty (if specified in contract)
  • Any Judgment or Tax Liens Against the Seller
  • Property Tax Proration
  • Unpaid Homeowners’s Dues (for condominiums)
  • Bonds or Assessments
  • Delinquent Taxes
  • Move-out Fees (for Condominiums)
  • Notary Fees and Recordation Fees
  • Third party Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement and California Tax Disclosure Report
  • Pre-sale Pest Inspection Fee
  • Underground Storage Tank Report
  • Miscellaneous Changes


The Buyer Customarily Pays;

  • Title Insurance Premium for Lender and Buyer
  • Escrow Fee
  • Notary Fees
  • Contractor’s and Pest Inspection Fees
  • All new Loan Changes (points, appraisal, document processing fees, etc.)
  • Interest on New Loan From Date of Funding to 30 Days Prior to the 1st Payment Date
  • Beneficiary Fee from Assumptions of Existing Loan
  • Home Warranty (if specified in contract)
  • Homeowner’s Insurance for 1st Year
  • Earthquake Insurance (optional)
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (typically 2 months) if Required by Lender
  • Private Mortgage Insurance Impound Account (1 year) if Required by Lender
  • Property Tax Impound Account if Required by Lender
  • Move-in Fee (for condominiums)
  • HOA Account Transfer Fee
  • Miscellaneous Changes


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