One of the major concerns in real estate transactions is, “Who pays closing costs in Florida?” Both buyers and sellers contribute to closing costs in Florida, but the seller often takes on the bulk of miscellaneous expenses. The amount that the seller and buyer pay in closing costs largely depends on the specifics of the transaction agreement.
When planning to buy or sell a house in Florida, it is important to factor in all expenses required to acquire the property to estimate the total transaction costs precisely. Buying or selling property in Florida has a fair share of complexities, but closing costs are inevitable. While they vary from state to state, closing costs in Florida vary based on the property type and the property’s geographic area.
How much does it cost to sell a house in Florida?
The final sale price determines the average cost to sell a house in Florida. This varies depending on the state of the market, the condition of the property, and several other factors. On average, a seller in Florida spends about 11.57% of the sale price to cover the cost of selling their property.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs are the fees paid by both sellers and buyers at the close of a real estate transaction. These costs usually come at the end of the sale, so it can be easy to feel blindsided if the parties involved are not prepared to cover them. According to Realtor.com, sellers can expect to pay 1% to 3% of the final sale price in closing costs, but the costs range from 1% to 7%.
These expenses are deducted from the sales profits for sellers. In rare instances, a seller may be required to pay out of pocket, especially if they have low equity. While some of these costs are unavoidable, sellers should also prepare for unforeseen expenses such as Homeowners Association (HOA) fees, settlement/attorney fees, and property appraisal fees. The seller’s closing costs vary based on the property’s value, local prices, and the agreement with the buyer.
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How much are closing costs in Florida?
According to CoreLogic’s latest report, the average closing cost in Florida was 2.3% (with taxes) in 2021. While Florida has a relatively low cost of living, it has the eighth-highest average closing costs, including taxes, in the US. Closing costs in Florida commonly include property appraisal fees, a lender’s title policy, an owner’s title policy, settlement fees, recording fees, land surveys, and transfer taxes.
Both buyers and sellers in Florida contribute to the closing costs. Different customs determine who pays for what, but the amount varies based on the property’s value, the buyer’s mortgage, the professionals involved, and the property’s location. To determine what the seller and the buyer cover, many expenses can be open to negotiation.
Average closing costs in Florida
While sellers pay 6% to 10% of the property’s total sale price, buyers pay around 2% to 5% (typically paid out of pocket). A closing statement (settlement statement) shows all the closing costs about three days before the closing date.
Closing costs vary depending on the type of mortgage a buyer has. Different loan types have different structures, but a buyer with a conventional mortgage will typically pay between 1% and 5% of the total sale price.
In cases where buyers make a small down payment, lenders will attach extra charges to the mortgage as insurance in case the buyer defaults on their payments. These additional charges are due at the close of the sale.
A majority of federal government-backed loans that require a 3.5% down payment come with a one-time funding fee or upfront fees (USDA loans). FHA loans require buyers to pay a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) at closing, which amounts to 1.75% of the total loan amount and annual premiums after the purchase.
Buyers with a mortgage from a private lender are often required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) if they contribute less than the standard 20% down payment on the property. Some private lenders may require buyers to pay the total PMI amount for the year all at once at closing.
Why are closing costs so high in Florida?
Closing costs vary depending on the state and municipality due to the different legal fees and taxes. Buyers and sellers pay unique closing costs, and negotiations can make the transaction fair for both to ensure both parties are happy.
Each real estate transaction is unique, so it is important for both sellers and buyers to be prepared for any unforeseen expenses. A real estate agent ensures that both the buyer and the seller have sufficient information to determine their estimated closing costs.
Who pays closing costs in Florida?
Closing costs for seller in Florida:
This applies to sellers that have an outstanding mortgage on their property. Sellers are required to pay their mortgage in full before closing on the sale. The outstanding mortgage is carefully calculated to include the mortgage balance and the prorated interest up to the day of closing. This also includes any prepayment penalties for paying the mortgage early.
Sellers with a line of credit attached to a lien on the property are also required to pay off the lien. For sellers who owe foreign lenders, they must pay any courier fees necessary to ensure that payments are made on time.
Documentary stamp taxes
Transfer taxes in Florida come in the form of documentary stamps. The Florida Department of Revenue stipulates that documentary stamp taxes are calculated at 70 cents for every $100 of the property’s value set on the deed.
This rate applies to properties in all counties except Miami-Dade, where the rate is 60 cents for every $100 plus a surtax of 45 cents for every $100. The surtax does not apply to single-family home transfers.
Real estate agent commission
For sellers who opt to use the services of a real estate agent to sell their house, the real estate agent commission might be the largest fee incurred in the sale process. According to PropertyClub, seller closing costs average 5% to 10% of the home’s price, while the average real estate commission in Florida is 5% to 6% of the home’s price.
Due diligence is important in any real estate transaction. A title search assures the buyer that the property is free and clear to sell. The seller covers the cost of a title search in Florida which is run through public records to ensure that there are no liens, easements, and other encumbrances. It also verifies that the seller has an undisputed legal right to sell the property.
With the title search completed and any uncovered defects rectified, the seller can purchase title insurance as financial protection from any future claims or undiscovered defects. All counties except Manatee, Dade, Broward, and Sarasota require the seller to cover this cost.
While title insurance is optional (except for when lenders give a loan), there is no hard and fast rule about who pays for it. Buyers and sellers can open negotiations to determine who covers the cost regardless of the county where the property is located.
Pest inspections are not mandatory for all properties but may be required depending on the buyer’s loan and the property’s location. Sellers are required to cover the cost of pest inspection, which runs between $100 to $150.
Home warranty fees
Home warranty fees are optional, but they offer the seller a competitive advantage because they reassure buyers of the quality of the property. These fees benefit sellers if significant components of the house, such as air conditioners or water heaters, exceed their useful life. Home warranty fees may vary depending on the company and coverage the seller chooses.
Buyer’s closing costs
Some buyers may negotiate for the seller to help with their closing costs, especially if the buyer is getting a mortgage. This is a purely negotiable expense, but it is important to factor it into the costs of sale.
Most mortgages allow sellers to pay a percentage of the buyer’s closing cost. Knowing the expenses of selling a house will help the seller determine if they can accommodate a portion of the buyer’s closing cost without risking their net returns.
The county where the property is located legally charges a fee to record the seller’s property and mortgage information. The amount varies from state to state, but sellers can expect to pay 0.02% of the final sale price in Florida. Based on the purchase agreement, a seller can negotiate with the buyer to cover the recording fees.
Property taxes in Florida are paid in arrears, which means that when the tax bill is sent in November, it is a bill for the previous year’s expenses. Sellers are required to pay property taxes when the property is in their name.
Buyers assume taxes from the day they become the rightful owner of the property. As such, a seller will credit the buyer’s unpaid taxes to the state at closing.
The title company charges a fee for closing the transaction, which can be split between the buyer and the seller or paid in full by the buyer. The closing fee may vary depending on the property’s location.
Still, the seller needs to clarify the party responsible for the closing fee in the purchase agreement based on what they are comfortable with.
Closing costs for buyers in Florida
In addition to buying the property, buyers are also required to pay a portion of the closing costs. Most of these expenses are associated with the buyer’s need to get a mortgage, but cash buyers also incur closing costs to complete the transfer of ownership of the property.
Loan origination fees
The lender charges an upfront fee to buyers to process the mortgage application. This fee is compensation for executing the loan, and t usually ranges from 0.5% to 1% of the total loan amount in the US.
Although the loan origination fee is part of the closing cost, it is usually set at the beginning of the buying process. The buyer is well aware of it as they finalize their property purchase.
Survey and appraisal fee
Lenders usually demand an appraisal to ensure that the loan amount the buyer seeks is in line with the property’s current value. The average appraisal fee in Florida ranges between $325 to $425 for single-family units, $600 to $1,500 for multi-family units, and $1,500 to $10,000 for commercial property.
A survey establishes the property’s borders, revealing whether it is larger or smaller than expected. The average survey cost in Florida is $525.
A home inspection ensures there are no undiscovered or undeclared defects with the property. Any issues with the property that a buyer is unaware of could cost the buyer high maintenance fees.
Should a home inspection yield any defects, the seller can make repairs, credit the buyer for the cost of repairs, or there can be a dissolution of the sale of the property. The average home inspection price in Florida ranges between $254 and $374.
A lender performs a credit report to begin processing the mortgage. A full credit report is required to secure a loan. The buyer covers the cost of a credit report, which typically ranges between $175 and $200. This closing cost, unlike other expenses, is non-negotiable.
Florida non-recurring intangible tax
The non-recurring intangible tax in Florida is a one-time tax on the indebtedness of Florida real property. According to the Florida Department of Revenue, this tax is calculated by multiplying the amount of obligation secured by Florida real property by 0.002.
Buyers hire the services of an attorney to ensure that their purchase runs smoothly. Lawyer fees are often paid at closing. Their fees vary based on the location due to the number of hours of service needed.
The escrow or settlement agents charge a fee for the disbursement of funds between a buyer and a seller. In Florida, the settlement agent can be the attorney or title company.
Purchasing discount points from your lender help the buyer lower their mortgage interest rate. Mortgage points are prepaid interest that can be paid upfront to lower monthly mortgage payments.
A lender charges a fee to reduce a set amount of interest rate. The value of mortgage points is determined by the type of loan a buyer gets an existing mortgage rates. The lender usually decides the value of the mortgage points.
Most lenders require buyers to purchase homeowners insurance before executing the loan. The insurance protects their investment and is usually part of the escrow funds.
Tax status research fee
Buyers pay a tax service agency that monitors whether the owner pays their property tax on time. Lenders require tax monitoring to avoid tax liens and protect their access to the property.
Counties in Florida charge a fee to record certain documents associated with the sale of the property. The amount paid is determined by the number of pages recorded and varies from county to county.
Florida closing costs for cash buyers
Cash buyers are required to pay the following fees in closing costs:
- Survey and appraisal fees
- Home inspection fees
- Lawyer fees
- Recording fees
- Escrow fees
- Homeowner’s Insurance
Unlike buyers with financing from lenders, cash buyers enjoy the benefit of a transaction that does not necessarily require extra costs to satisfy the lender’s demands. While some fees like home inspection fees and homeowners insurance are not mandatory, they ensure that the buyer’s interests are protected at all times.
How do I calculate my closing costs as a seller in Florida?
Buying or selling a house is a significant transaction that may seem complex. Sellers hope to profit, and buyers want to invest in a valuable property. For a seller to profit, the total sales price has to cover the closing costs and leave a substantial amount.
For sellers, a real estate agent prepares a seller’s net sheet in Florida. The seller’s net sheet breaks down all the closing costs and an estimate of the amount they will receive after the final purchase agreement is signed.
The seller’s net sheet in Florida tallies all the expenses a seller will incur to sell their property against the total a buyer will pay for the property. While the net sheet is an unofficial document prepared by the seller’s real estate agent or realtor, it gives sellers a clear estimate of the amount they could gain in profits.
How to avoid closing costs
Closing costs can be pretty high, especially when you factor in the real estate agent commission, which typically clocks in at 5% to 6%. To significantly reduce closing costs, the best option would be to avoid hiring the services of a real estate agent or realtor.
One of the most reliable ways to do this is by selling your house to Level One Investments, a reputable house-buying company that pays cash for houses in Florida.
Selling your house without the services of an agent may seem like an uphill task, but Level One Investments ensures that you get the most out of the sale. They buy the property as-is, helping you avoid repair costs, and the price for your home will be based on the current market value and its condition. Closing on the sale is also faster, often within 7 to 10 days.
Selling your house for cash eliminates agent commissions and prep costs. As an added benefit, selling to Level One Investments guarantees $0 for open houses and $0 for a home warranty. You can sell at your convenience and close with certainty that your house sold at a competitive price.
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Closing costs can sometimes be unexpected, adding up to a significant amount that dramatically impacts the buyer’s budget and the seller’s profits. To ensure your purchase process closes swiftly, you must do due diligence on estimated closing costs.
Both buyers and sellers traditionally agree and settle on terms that are accommodating for both parties. While some closing costs are avoidable, buyers and sellers must consider all expected closing costs in their financial plan to avoid unexpected inconveniences.
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Most frequent questions and answers
Sellers pay several fees in closing costs, including mortgage payoff, documentary stamp taxes, pest inspection fees, settlement fees, property taxes, title search fees, buyer’s closing costs, real estate agent fees, home warranty, title insurance fees, and closing fees.
A title company can charge between 0.5% to 1% of the total sale price to sell a house.
The buyer or the borrower pays the transfer tax as part of the buyer’s obligation for the property to be legally transferred to their name.
The buyer must ensure that the title is clear of recorded or unrecorded liens on the property. However, the seller pays for a title search in Florida.
The closing costs in Palm Beach, FL, range between $1,620 and $2430 because the average price of a house in Palm Beach is between $200,000 and $300,000.
Sellers are required to pay property taxes when the property is in their name. Buyers assume taxes from the day they become the rightful owner of the property. The seller credits the buyer’s unpaid taxes to the state at closing.
The seller covers the cost of a title search in Florida which is run through public records to ensure that there are no liens, easements, and other encumbrances.
Title search fees range from $75 to $200, depending on the property’s location.
The title settlement fee in Florida typically ranges from $350 to $600, paid to the escrow company at closing.