February 21

Seller Paid Closing Costs in Florida

Seller paid closing costs in Florida can vary from one homeowner to the next. There are many factors that can influence the closing fees associated with selling your Florida home, particularly here in Tampa, FL. 

I’ve compiled the top 10 list of seller paid closing costs to help you make a smart and informed decision.

A quick disclaimer...the seller closing costs listed below are for demonstration purposes only and meant to help give you a good sense of where you stand financially before you decide on whether it’s financially feasible to sell your house.

Plus, as a special bonus, I've included a FREE downloadable closing cost worksheet.

Just know that a lot of the fees can be negotiated. So, if you’re working with a real estate agent, have them negotiate the best terms for you.

My top 10 list of seller paid closing costs below are not listed in any particular order.

NOTE: The list of closing costs below are inclusive of fees on the title company's closing statement, in addition to other fees associated with selling your home.

Ok, let’s get started.

1. Closing / Settlement Fees

In Florida, the first of seller paid closing cost to be aware of is the cost charged by the person or company handling and processing the sale itself.

Closing fees are charged by and paid to the title company as a fee for closing the transaction. This fee ranges from one title company to the next.  

I’ve seen closing fees range from $395 to $800.  

It’s not uncommon to see this negotiated between buyers and sellers.

You may download your FREE custom closing costs worksheet here.

2. Documentary Stamp Tax

Also referred to as Doc Stamps, Florida requires that sellers pay an excise tax when their home is sold. The tax rate on the documents is 70 cents per $100

A basic example would be, say your home sold for $300,000, then your Documentary Stamp Tax is $2,100.  

  1. Simply divide $300,000 by 100 to get the ‘taxable units’, which is 3,000. 
  2. Then multiply 3,000 by $.70...and voila! 
  3. Seller paid closing costs in this case is $2,100.

3. Prorated Property Tax

Seller Paid Closing Costs - Prorated Property Taxes

This portion is no surprise as home sellers are probably accustomed to this particular tax. 

What home sellers have to be aware of is that they are responsible for only paying their property taxes up until the day of closing.

To calculate the seller closing costs, let's take Happy Home Seller for example. Happy Home Seller sells his house to Buyer Brenda in January. 

The closing date is scheduled for Feb 28 and the annual property taxes are $3,500.  

Typically, Happy Home Seller will be responsible for paying property taxes dating January 1 through February 27 and the day of closing, Feb 28, is charged to Buyer Brenda.  

So, here’s how we calculate what Happy Home Seller will owe at closing - 

  1. Divide $3,500 (annual taxes) by 365 days (days per year) to get the daily rate = $9.589 per day
  2. Prorate the number of days until closing (January 31 days + February 27 days) = 58 days 
  3. Multiply the daily rate of $9.589 by the number of days that Happy Home Seller owned his house, which is 58 days.$9.589 x 58 = $556.16

So, Happy Home Seller will show a debit on his closing statement of $556.12 and Buyer Brenda will see a credit of the same amount.

4. Prorated Home Owner's Association

Seller Paid Closing Costs Florida - HOA Seller Dues

If you happen to live in a neighborhood where homeowner association dues are mandated, then this fee also needs to be taken into account as part of seller paid closing costs.

It’s calculated pretty much in the same fashion as the Prorated Property Tax above. 

Again, if closing is scheduled on February 27, then Happy Home Seller will be responsible for paying his HOA fees up until February 27, assuming that HOA fees are paid monthly.  

However, some HOA fees are paid quarterly.

If that’s the case, then Happy Home Seller has already paid his HOA fees.

So on the date of closing, Happy Home Seller will see a credit on his closing statement for the prorated HOA balance dating February 28 through March 31 (the amount he prepaid already).

FREE Custom Closing Costs Worksheet

Get your free and done-for-you closing costs worksheet. No opt in required!

5. Mortgage Payoff

Depending on the length of time that you’ve been making mortgage payments, paying off your mortgage could potentially be one of the largest of seller closing costs.  

Sometimes, more than one lien holder exists, namely referred to as 1st and / or 2nd lien holders.

It goes without saying, mortgage lenders need to be paid in full before the sale of your property is complete.  

Don’t let the terms 1st lien holder and 2nd lien holder alarm you.  

A lien holder is simply someone who has a claim to your property, like a mortgage company, because they offered you a loan and are securing the mortgage loan with the property.

Some home loans may have been structured with one loan but others may have been structured with two.

In either case, any balances due, including prorated interest, will have to be paid in full and ‘satisfied’.

6. Realtor Commission

Seller Paid Closing Costs FL - Realtor Commissions

Number six on the list of seller closing costs is probably the one you've been dying to get to 😉

For obvious reasons, real estate commissions tend to stick out like a sore thumb.  So, if you're selling through a real estate agent, then you're responsible for paying Realtor commissions.

The calculation is simple. If you are selling your house for $300,000 and the agreed upon commission rate is 6%, then the total due is $18,000. 

Bear in mind that the commission is typically split between the listing agent and the buyer agent.

Know that Realtor commissions are entirely negotiable. In fact, home sellers are advised and urged to ask what they are getting in return for the commission.

A simple MLS listing and sign in the yard no longer cuts it in this age of technology, particularly when supply is high and demand is low.  

The biggest question to ask is ‘how are you going to market my home?’

7. Seller Assistance

There are times when seller closing costs become optional. 

Sometimes, home buyers come up short to cover a down payment.

Other times, home sellers are just extremely motivated that they're willing to contribute towards the buyer's closing costs. 

Regardless of the reason, homeowners may want to contribute a percentage of the home purchase price to help pay for a portion of the buyer’s closing costs.

Most loan programs allow seller concessions but they do have specific guidelines and limits.

Here’s a table of the different loan programs and the maximum limits each allow -

Type of Loan

Maximum Allowable %

FHA

6%

Conventional > 3% to 9% Down Payment

3%

Conventional > 10% + Down Payment

6%

Investor Loan Program

2%

8. Title Search

A title search is quite important. 

Title companies will search all public records to see if any ‘defects’ show up in the title, dating back to the earliest owner.  

Florida law limits the search to 30 years though.

Briefly, some of the ‘defects’ that may be found include, but not limited to:

  • Unpaid taxes
  • Outstanding liens 
  • Judgements 
  • Filing errors 

A title search may cost around $200, depending on the title company you decide to use.

9. Title Insurance (Owner's Policy)

Just because this seller closing cost is item 9 on this list, it doesn't take away from its importance.

On the contrary.

Even though Florida law does not require title insurance, it is really important because it protects the policyholder against futures losses from something that may have happened in the past.

Remember those ‘defects’ we discussed in the Title Search section?  

Well, title insurance (owner’s policy) helps the future buyer or owner if any of those nightmare situations happen to pop up later.

The owner’s policy is issued for the total purchase price.  

Expect to pay anywhere from $3 - $5 per thousand.  Continuing to use our $300,000 sale price, the owner’s policy may cost $900 - $1,500.

10. Marketing

Marketing Your House For Sale

Even though marketing is not listed as official seller closing costs per se, it is, nevertheless, an important investment if you want to really sell your house.

If you're thinking about selling your house without a realtor and are not familiar with current marketing trends and techniques, then you’ll need some guidance.  

For starters, you may read my blog post on how to sell your house without a Realtor.

Now, there are a few things to think about before you make the leap and decide to market your house. 

I’ll briefly list them here:

How are you going to position your house?  

Meaning, who is your ideal buyer?  This will help tremendously in figuring out what to write in terms of describing your property so that you may attract the most willing, ready and able buyer.

Once you’ve defined your ideal buyer, you’ve got to figure out where this buyer hangs out, online and offline.  

You’ll need to do some research. This will give you a sense of where to direct your marketing efforts.

Some ideas on marketing your house:

  • Create Mailer Postcards
  • For Sale Sign
  • Publish A Blog Post
  • Design and Launch Landing Pages
  • Execute Facebook Ads
  • Promote Thru Google Ads
  • List On Craigslist
  • Pin Your Listing On Pinterest
  • Utilize Instagram

The amount of money you wish to invest promoting your house is entirely up to you.  

On the conservative side, you may get away with investing $300 - $500 to properly market your house.

11. Other Fees

Home Repairs

The following seller paid closing costs may also include:

  • House Repairs - This will depend on the condition of your home.  Will you need to paint the exterior or interior of your house? Leaky faucet? 
  • Home Warranty - Home warranties are optional and can be negotiated to have the buyer pay. It generally costs about $450.
  • Inspection Repairs - The buyer generally pays for the inspection itself.  But chances are that the inspector will list a few items in need of repair, especially if your home is a few year's old.
  • Staging - Buyers want to be able to see themselves living in your home. One of the best ways to do that is to hire a professional stager. This could range between $500 - $800.
  • Utilities - Should you not be living in your house during the selling process, you're still obligated to keep your lights and A/C or heat running. You should already have an idea of what your monthly bills are.
  • Moving Truck and Boxes - Are you going to rent a moving truck and pack and load yourself? Or will you be hiring a moving company to handle the grunt work for you? I remember paying $850 for a 3-man crew to load and unload a 3 bedroom house.

Conclusion

I feel that it’s important for home sellers to have all the info at their disposal to make a good decision for themselves and their family.

The purpose of this article is to educate and better equip you of seller closing costs. 

Overall, you can expect to pay fees in the range of 10% of the purchase price.  Remember, some of the fees are negotiable. 

For your convenience, you may download the spreadsheet that will help with calculating the fees and estimating the Net Proceeds for yourself (what you'll walk away with after all is said and done).

FREE Custom Closing Costs Worksheet

Get your free and done-for-you closing costs worksheet. No opt in required!

As a final note, don’t let the information here overwhelm you.  

If you have any questions, comments or would like information on other topics pertaining to selling your house in Hillsborough County, Florida, feel free to call or email me at any time!



Tags

Closing Costs In Hillsborough County, Home Sellers, Seller Closing Costs Florida, Selling Your Home


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