Home Buying in 94930>Question Details

Joe, Both Buyer and Seller in Mill Valley, CA

Is it true the buyer must pay all escrow fees in Marin?

Asked by Joe, Mill Valley, CA Tue Aug 31, 2010

We are about to buy a home, and we have been told that the buyers "always" pay all escrow fees here in Marin. Where we come from, traditionally the buyers and sellers split escrow fees 50/50, or each pay their own escrow costs. An agent representing a seller told us this is not how it works in Marin and it would upset the seller if we asked them to split the escrow costs. It seems like it makes more sense to split these costs... and since it is still sort of a buyer's market, I find it hard to believe that this would be an issue. Any input from local agents? I know in most parts of the country these fees are split 50/50...

Help the community by answering this question:


Typically, in Marin County, the buyer pays for their own title and escrow fees and the seller pays for their own. However, like Syliva said, EVERYTHING is negotiable and it is very common to see a credit back from the seller to the buyer at the close of escrow for NRCC or Non-Recurring Closing Costs.

You said, "An agent representing a seller told us this is not how it works in Marin and it would upset the seller if we asked them to split the escrow costs." First, take a look at the first four words in your sentence: "An agent representing a seller" which says it all. They have the best interests of the seller in mind, not yours. Second, everything is negotiable. Third, we are and have been for some time, in a buyer's market. If your offer is otherwise clean and acceptable, the seller--if they can afford to--may be okay with absorbing some of your escrow/closing fees.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
Each area has customs and in Marin the buyer pays Title and Escrow. The seller will also have closing costs paid in escrow particular to them.
You can write a contract any way but I have been doing it 18 years here and it is customary for the agents to write this way. In Southern California it is split 50/50 but not here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2014
We are just coming out of a BUYER's MARKET; where we saw Buyers making Offers that were ridiculously Low-Ball and adding that the Seller would pay all their Closing Costs and throw in a new set of Appliances for the Kitchen!

Those days are (probably) gone: You can "ASK" for anything and everything; but that doesn't mean that you will get it, or that you will even get a polite response.

I would characterize the Market as NEUTRAL right now; urging our Buyers and Sellers to be reasonable; to accomplish the ultimate goal; buying the house!

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
Northern California is even different than Southern California. We have escrow and title in one office. Here, it is common for the buyer to pick up the escrow fees. But, everything is negotiable. Right now, with multiple offers becoming the norm again, some buyers may choose to "sweeten the pot" by even picking up the sellers transaction fees.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
Hi Joe:

In CAR Purchase Agreement, there is a paragraph designates Escrow and Title fee responsibilities; and 'TRADITIONALLY', buyers will pay for the escrow and owner's title insurance. Buyers get to choose their own escrow and title insurance provider.

However, everything is negotiable; you can always try to negotiate that if the property is a true 'buyer's' property (depending on the specific property, location or price, a house may or may not be buyer's market'. Otherwise, buyers customarily pay for both in Marin county.

Sylvia Barry
Frank Howard Allen Realtors

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 11, 2010
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer