Everything You Need to Know About Closing Costs in Pennsylvania
When you’re buying or selling a home, there will be additional costs you have to pay on top of the costs for the actual house. Closing costs are a kind of final jab, that expected-but-unwelcome bill that you have to pay after everything seems to be finalized. And in Pennsylvania, closing costs are among the highest in the country. What really goes into closing cost, who pays what, and how can some of it be avoided?
What Are Closing Costs?
Closing costs is a blanket term that covers a lot of fees and expenses that come up in the sale of a home and when the property is transferred from one owner to another. Closing costs include quite a lot of things (we’ll outline them below) but they include prorated rent and utilities, title insurance and home warranties, and much more.
Pennsylvania has some of the highest closing costs of anywhere in the country. Some estimates say they can be anywhere from 1%-7%, but our research shows that the buyer in Pennsylvania typically pays 5-6% of the value of the home. The total average closing cost before taxes is around $4,000, but after taxes it can be $10,000 or more. Expect a range somewhere between $6,000 and $15,000.
What’s Included in Closing Costs?
Title insurance is a policy that protects the current owners and mortgage lenders from any outstanding title issues. This is typically in the $1,000 range.
A title search is done to make sure that there are no outstanding debts or liens on the property, and to make sure that the property is, indeed, owned by the seller. This ranges from $300-600.
Deed Transfer Tax
This tax is split between the buyer and the seller 50/50. It amounts to 1% of the home’s sale price.
A home inspection is performed to make sure that all is as it should be both structurally and cosmetically, including appliances, HVAC, foundation, and more. An inspection costs around $430.
The appraisal is done to determine the home’s worth, and costs around $350.
Lenders will often ask for a property survey, which will identify the exact dimensions and extents of a home’s property.
This includes loan origination fees, application fees, and prepaid interest. It amounts to about 1.5% of the sale price of the home.
Mortgage Payoff and Prepayment Penalty
If the seller is paying off their home too early, there may be prepayment penalties. The cost of these varies.
Additional Outstanding Fees
These fees can include anything from homeowner’s insurance, HOA fees, utilities, and property taxes.
Per Diem Interest
This is the interest that you pay on your loan from the closing date to the last day of the month. It can vary.
These are the fees for property transfer of deeds. The fees vary.
In Pennsylvania, as opposed to some other states, the law requires an attorney’s presence at closing. This can cost between $150 and $500.
How Much Are Closing Costs in Pennsylvania?
As mentioned above, Pennsylvania has one of the highest closing costs in the country, between 1%-7%, but it generally is around the 5%-6% range. Sellers will typically pay 1%-3% of the closing costs, but that is up to the negotiation of the sale.
Sellers in Pennsylvania are also required to pay realtor commission fees for both their agent and the buyer’s agent. In Pennsylvania these fees average 6%.
How to Calculate Your Closing Costs in Pennsylvania
Calculating the amount of your closing costs is to do a simple math equation where you take the sale price of the house and multiply it by the closing cost percentage. So, for example, if a home sold for $300,000 in Pennsylvania with 6% closing costs it would be $300,000 x 6% = $18,000.
The median home price in Pennsylvania is just over $200,000, and using a lower estimate—say, 4%—it would average to $8,000.
Who Pays Closing Costs in Pennsylvania?
While we’ve said that the closing costs in Pennsylvania are higher than the costs elsewhere in the country, those costs are split between the buyer and seller. Buyers typically pay more, but here’s a rundown of who pays what:
Seller Closing Costs
A seller will typically pay between one and three percent of a home’s closing cost in Pennsylvania. Sellers will usually pay:
Outstanding amounts owed by the property
Mortgage prepayment penalty
Buyer Closing Costs
The buyer usually pays at least 5% of the closing costs and sometimes more. These costs contain:
Credit report fees
If You’re Selling, Should You Pay the Buyer’s Closing Costs?
Typically, the seller’s decision to pay the buyer’s closing costs is if the market is weak and the seller is trying to sweeten the deal. This also happens a lot in homes where the property has problems, or the home has structural problems, and the seller offering to pay closing costs may be to convince the buyer to buy in spite of it. At Homeway, we can sell your home for just 1%!
Buying a home in Pennsylvania shouldn’t be difficult, though understanding all the ins and outs of closing costs can be a bit of a slog for some. Having a good, trustworthy real estate agent on your side can be a tremendous benefit to you in making this decision.
Are you ready to get into a home in Pennsylvania?