2013 Seller Closing Costs in Massachusetts Residential Real Estate Transactions

When figuring the net return on selling your home it is important to factor in the final closing costs of the sale. There are a number of expenses and tasks to take care of in order to close. Below is list of common closing costs the seller is obligated to pay.

Brokerage Fee

It is always recommended that you use an agent to sell your home.  Reason being, you get top exposure which in turn brings you the highest possible price the market is willing to bare. Your agent is legally obligated to look out for your best interests and can help protect you from litigation.  Generally the brokerage fee is equal to 5-6% of the total sales price in Massachusetts, split 50/50 with buyer’s agent.

Massachusetts Tax Stamps

This is a fee paid to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through the Registry of Deeds for the transfer of property from the seller to the buyer. The tax stamp fee is not the same for every home, instead is based on the price of the property. The fee is usually $4.56 for every $1,000 of the sales price for most of MA. The two exceptions are in Barnstable County where the rate is $5.70 per $1,000 and in Nantucket and Dukes County where the tax is 2% of the sales price. The MA tax stamp is the largest closing fee after sales commission.

Attorney Fees

Attorney fees can range from about $700 to $1,500 (or more depending if it is a real estate settlement) and averaging around $1,000. It is important to have an attorney through the closing process so that they may take the seller through the Purchase and Sales agreement as well as prepare and file the new deed.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspection

Before closing the current owners must have the property inspected by the local fire department to ensure all detectors are working and the property is up to code. The inspections cost anywhere from $25 and $100.

Miscellaneous Costs

There are a few other minor costs when closing a sale and transferring the deed. Handling fees such as overnight mailing, courier services, and wiring services may add up to $25 to $50. The mortgage discharge fee costs about $100 per mortgage discharge or any other title clearance document recording. There will also be a filing fee around $75.

6D Certificate and Title V

The 6D certificate and Title V fee are two possible costs that a seller may run into depending on the property. A 6D certificate is for condominiums only, this is a statement from the board or trustees that manages the condominium, verifying that all remaining fees have been paid off as of the month of the closing. Obtaining the certificate will cost $75, assuming all fees have been paid.

Title V is a Massachusetts law requiring any home serviced by a private septic system, have the system inspected and certified before the home is sold. Though this is considered a closing cost, it is important to have this taken care of early on. The inspection and certificate should cost between $600 and $1,000 depending on the accessibility of the tank and distribution box. A failed system could cost upwards of $30,000. Once obtained the certificate is valid for 2 years. Again Title V can be complex and possibly costly, so it is important to take care of it early and avoid the risk of delaying the closing. For more information please visit, Mass.gov Title V.

Seller’s Closing Costs Overview

Please be sure to include 5% of net sales price to the numbers below.

Sale price of $500,000 Sale price of 1,000,000
MA Tax Stamp (4.56/1000) $2,280 $4,560
Attorney Fee(Varies) $1,000
Mortgage Discharge $100
Filing Fee $75
Fire Dept. Inspection $50
Wiring/Mailing $50
Total $3,555 $5,835
With 6D Certificate $3,630 $5,910
With Title V (~800) $4,355 $6,635