Thinking about selling your home? Here's what you need to know to sell your home in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Real Estate and Seller Disclosure Act requires PA home sellers to provide the buyer with a property disclosure statement for all residential real estate transfers. The law requires the seller to provide the home buyer with a signed and dated property disclosure statement prior to the execution of an agreement of sale. The seller disclosure statement itemizes a variety of issues regarding the condition of the home to the best knowledge of the seller. This form can be obtained online, or with the help of a real estate agent. Reference: UNRUH, TURNER, BURKE & FREES
The Seller Closing Cost Calculator will estimate your settlement costs; including the Pennsylvania deed transfer tax and Seller Assist (if applicable). The Listing Price Calculator will help you estimate the cost of selling your home.
Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992e - Home sellers are required to provide the buyer with a Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home pamphlet. The home seller is required to inform the buyer of any known information regarding lead based paint or lead based paint hazards and provide the home buyer with a Lead Warning Statement. Additional information regarding the law and your requirements under this law can be found here: The Lead Disclosure Rule
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Cost to sell a house in Pennsylvania
Unlike the home buyer, the closing costs for sellers in Pennsylvania are few, but can be costly. You can use the PA Seller Closing Cost Calculator to estimate the seller's closing costs in Pennsylvania. Here's a list of the likely closing costs.
CLOSING FEE (settlement fee)
After all the details of the sale are wrapped up, the buyer and seller will meet to sign the transfer documents. Settlement will be conducted by either a closing attorney or a title insurance agent. The attorney or title insurance agent may charge a settlement fee. Settlement fees vary from 0 - $200. Estimate $100
The seller will be expected to prepare a deed for the buyer. The cost will vary between closing attorneys and title insurance agents. Estimated cost - $100
DEED TRANSFER TAX
Pennsylvania requires a deed transfer tax for property transfers. Think of it as sales tax on real estate. The State of Pennsylvania charges 1% of the sales price and the municipality and school district USUALLY charge 1% between them for a total of 2% (i.e. 2% X 100,000 = $2,000). There are exceptions (for example, parent to child). You should call your municipality for the correct transfer tax percentage; and make sure you add the Pennsylvania 1%. By custom, the buyer and seller split the cost. 1% to buyer, 1% to seller, however, payment by buyer or seller is dictated by the sales contract. Deed Transfer Tax Page
DYE TEST TO MUNICIPALITY
In some urban areas, notably Allegheny County, the seller may be required to obtain a dye test. In past years, rain water from the gutters were channeled into the sanitary and storm water pipes. With the expansion of new construction, the sanitary and storm water systems became over loaded with the additional water. So some municipalities require home owners to obtain a "dye test". A dye pack is flushed down the commode and gutter and either a plumber or the municipality will open up the sanitary sewer and storm water access to see if the dye is entering either system. Needless to say, if there is discharge into these systems, the seller will be required to correct the discharge. The cost will vary. A prudent seller will contact the municipality if this is a requirement and the cost.
DYE TEST TO PLUMBER
If necessary to conduct a dye test. Estimate $100 - $200 if applicable.
Some closing attorneys will charge a document preparation fee in lieu of a deed preparation fee, however, some settlement companies/attorneys will charge a "doc prep" fee in addition to the deed preparation. Figure $200
The buyer may request a home warranty. The cost will vary, estimate $450.
NOTARY FEE - Self explanatory
NO LIEN LETTERS
Does the municipality have a lien on the home? The only way to know for sure is to obtain a "no lien letter". The settlement company will obtain this information from the municipality. The charge for the tax certification and lien letter varies widely across Pennsylvania - anywhere from $5.00 - $200.
Some municipalities charge an occupancy permit, some do not. In some municipalities it's the responsibility of the seller, in other's it the responsibility of the buyer. Another question for the municipality.
OVER NIGHT MAILING FEE(S)
If the seller has a mortgage covering the property, the settlement company may charge for over night mailing the payoff (final payment) to the mortgage company. The cost, if charged will vary, estimate $20 (although it might be higher).
PEST INSPECTION REPAIRS, RADON SYSTEM
If a pest inspection reveals infestation, the seller will be expected to treat the property. Cost . . . ? Some home buyers will obtain a radon inspection. If radon is present in the home, the buyer may request a radon system. Cost . . . ?
PROPERTY TAX PRORATON
At settlement, the real estate taxes will be "prorated". In short, any property taxes (local, school & county) that were paid by the seller for the time the buyer owns the property will be reimbursed to the seller. However, if the real estate taxes were not paid by the seller during their ownership, then the seller will be expected to pay this cost to the buyer. The seller will not pay the buyer's real estate taxes and visa versa. PA Proration Tax Calculator will estimate the tax proration.
REAL ESTATE AGENCY FEE (Coordination Fee, Warehouse Fee, Administration Fee, etc.)
Some real estate agencies may require an additional fee up and over the real estate commission to sell a house. This fee, if charged, can vary from $50 - $500. Estimate $200.
REAL ESTATE AGENT COMMISSION
By law, the real estate commission is negotiable. In most cases, you will only pay a percentage of the sales price when the home sells. Some real estate brokers may charge you a flat fee if the sales price is too low. Estimate 6% X sales price
SELLER PAID CLOSING COSTS
The home seller may be asked to pay a percentage of the sales price
or flat dollar amount toward the buyer's closing costs.
This cost is a reduction from the profit from the sale of the home.
REAL ESTATE TAX CERTIFICATION
The closing attorney or settlement company will contact the municipality and request a "tax certification" letter. The "tax cert" as it is called, itemizes the real estate taxes on the home and whether any taxes are due or are paid in full. Cost varies, estimate $100 to be safe, but it is likely to be less. Call the local tax collector for exact cost.
Pennsylvania Seller Calculators