Home Buying in San Diego>Question Details

Lee, Home Buyer in Carlsbad, CA

What is customary for a buyer (seller) to pay in a real estate transaction, in CA?

Asked by Lee, Carlsbad, CA Sat May 1, 2010

I'm trying to learn what should I expect to pay when buying a house, in CA? What are the offer terms that are usually included as being taken care of by the buyer? Transfer fees.....

Help the community by answering this question:


You got good answers so far and here is a flyer with the typical cost breakdowns.

and a Buyer's Guide is here...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 1, 2010
hello there..too many different and conflicting answers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 23, 2016

In most areas in California, the buyer pays
*escrow fees
*title insurance fees (for 2 policies protecting the interests of themselves and their lender)
*loan origination fee and discount points
*miscellanous doc drawing and courier fees
*inspection and appraisal fees
*loan closing costs, like prepayments of property taxes, interest, insurance and homeowner's insurance or HOA dues, when the buyer is obtaining a loan with an impound account or as otherwise required by the buyer's lender.

And the seller pays

*broker commissions
*a reconveyance fee to their lender
*buyer's home warranty

HOWEVER - as Dorene mentioned, ALL of this is open to negotiation. These are standard practices, but vary more and more in this market climate.

Also, be aware that with bank-owned properties the standard allocations are somewhat different. For example, banks often will pay for the buyer's title insurance policy, assuming the buyer uses a title provider the bank chooses.

Also, costs like HOA transfer and documentation fees, city and county transfer taxes, and even escrow fees are often negotiated between buyer and seller. Additionally, many times I see buyers agree to "pay" their customarily allocated fees, but then negotiate a closing cost credit from the seller that covers some or all of that.

Loan closing fees vary significantly by loan type (i.e., FHA vs. conventional). Also, transfer taxes also vary widely in different California counties, I see transactions where buyers need to be prepared to pay anywhere from 2 to 6% of the purchase price in closing costs - depending on the location. Again, this can be reduced if the buyer is able to negotiate for the seller to pay some or all of their closing costs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 6, 2010
Dear Lee,
Well, it varies and since the CAR purchase agreement has been recently updated, those items are now negotiable between the buyer and seller. What has been done customarily, is now open to negotiations.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 1, 2010
Lee - One last thing - typically buyer doesn't pay the commission, the seller does. Buyer may pay broker fees, and of course their share of closing costs as my colleagues pointed out, but everything is negotiable.

However, if you're purchasing for cash, banks will not usually contribute towards your closings costs, especially if you're an investor.

Heather Peck
SellState NRES
Las Vegas, NV
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 1, 2010
Typically I tell people 1 - 3% of the sales price, with the average of 1.5%. In today's short sale and foreclosure market, there can be additional costs. You really have to judge each property that you want to make an offer on, and your lender. Lenders charge different amounts too. Plus you have inspections that play into the costs. The more inspections you do, the higher the costs.

Work with a Realtor that can help you understand the costs and can help you understand them as you go.

Good luck,
Let me know if I can help you in any way!

Joan Wilson (Realtor, SRES, Ecobroker)

California Cool 4 Sale
Prudential California Realty
Direct Phone: 760-757-3468
Fax: 760-946-7894
License # 01341483

It is my Goal to Increase the Success and Profitability of Those I Serve

Know Your Rights Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program

Find a Home:



Co-author of “Should I Short Sale My Home?” Advice on what options are available.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 1, 2010
Hi Lee,

Buyer generally pays for their escrow fees, appraisal, and home inspections/or any other inspections they choose to have. All other fees are covered by the seller unless negotiated otherwise. Buyer is of course responsible for any costs associated with getting their loan. In today's current short sale/bankowned homes market we are seeing buyers picking up the cost of home warranties, termite inspections, etc., but that's not the norm.

Hope that helps and good luck to you!

Please feel free to email or call me if you have any other questions.

Rosemary Joles
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 1, 2010
Hi Lee,

A buyer can expect to pay for his/her prorated property taxes for the year (an estimated 1.25% of the selling price), his/her own closing costs if not included within the offer. Other fees such as transfer fees, HOA fees, fees for NHD Reports, etc can also be negotiated and included within the offer and asked that the seller pay. It really depends on what you are purchasing, paying, and what is negotiated within the offer.

If you are in the market for a bank owned some of these fees may be asked for in the offer, however, keep in mind your competition will be stiff and your offer may be overlooked if you are competing with others that have not asked that these fees be paid for.

This is really a good question for your Realtor who knows you intimately, what you are looking for, and typically more knowledge about your direct competition. If you are not already working with a Realtor and would like representation I'm happy to meet with you.

Katrina Hamilton
Direct: 858-405-4407
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 1, 2010
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