Who pays for what when you sell your house?

May 12, 2020

If you have sold or purchased a house before, you know that the financial particulars are much more complicated than just the listing value. From agent to inspection fees and all the other things involved, both sellers and buyers hold financial responsibility for closing costs and transaction expenses – and…

Written By Offer Hut

If you have sold or purchased a house before, you know that the financial particulars are much more complicated than just the listing value. From agent to inspection fees and all the other things involved, both sellers and buyers hold financial responsibility for closing costs and transaction expenses – and understanding who pays for what when you sell your house can assist you in ensuring a smooth sale.

While some elements of closing costs can be negotiated between the buyer and seller, some expenses are usually paid by one party or the other. Continue reading to learn what you, the seller, should budget for and what is the purchaser’s responsibility.


Real estate commissions

If I need to sell my house, I will pay the real estate commissions, which are about 5% – 6% of the purchase price. The amount is given to a listing agent, who then shares almost about half with the buyer’s agent.

If I want to cut down on the cost of commissions, I can decide to sell for sell by sale by owner, which can save about 3% of the amount I will pay to the listing agent. However, for sale by owner can involve a lot of work as I have to seek buyers myself. If I want to sell house fast NC, it is better to offer a commission to a buyer’s agent as I would want to attract as many potential buyers as possible, and some buyer’s agents might be less willing to show their clients your house if they do not get a commission.


Escrow fees

Escrow costs are usually divided half by half between the seller and the buyer. Escrow costs cover the services of independent third parties who manage the funds during the transactions and conduct the closing of the purchase. Selling homes in North Carolina usually cost 1% of the sale price. That does not include the actual amount that is held in your escrow account for closing. It is just the fee for the services of the escrow company.



The buyer will pay for inspection fees if he or she decides to conduct one. An inspection is meant to protect the buyer from any concealed faults in the house that could affect the value of the home, make the house unsafe to live in or cost a lot of money to repair.

The average cost of inspecting a home ranges between $250 and $750. If I want to sell my house fast, I can decide to do pre-inspection to get a good idea of what the buyer’s inspector will find and also enable you to make minor repairs before I sell my house. The pre-inspection fee is the same amount as a buyer’s inspection.



All the home appraisal costs are covered by the buyer when selling homes in North Carolina. The lender needs an appraisal fee if the buyer will pay the house using a mortgage. Even if it is not required, a buyer sometimes can pay appraisals to ensure that they are making an excellent investment and not being overcharged. The average appraisal cost in the US is $350.


Land survey

The home buyer pays the survey costs. A land survey allows the buyer to know the details of the particular property they are buying, including the encroachments, easements, fencing, and boundaries of the property. The average cost of a land survey is about $550, but that can vary depending on the location, shape, and size of a property.


Title insurance

Both the seller and the buyer pay the cost of title insurance, but each type is somehow different. If I want to sell house fast NC, I will need to pay title insurance coverage for the buyer. The buyer pays the title insurance policy for their financier. Generally, title insurance makes sure that a home is clean and free, and there is no third party who has an unknown claim to the property.


There are two types of title insurances, namely:

• Owner’s title insurance

• Lender’s title insurance


Owner’s title insurance offers protection so that nobody else can claim ownership of the property form lien from an attorney, contractor, or prior dispute from another third party. It is crucial for buyers to have owner’s title insurance as it protects them from financial or legal damages if another party would try and claim ownership over that home in the future after they buy a home.

The buyer pays the lender’s title insurance, and it protects the financial investment of the lender in a home. It is usually needed for any buyer who is purchasing a house with a mortgage, and the coverage stays active until the buyer refinances the loan with another lender or pays off the loan.



If I want to sell my house fast in North Carolina, I will need to pay for a home warranty. It is always given as an incentive to attract more buyers, but it is not required. Providing a home warranty provides assurance to the buyer that he will not pay any huge repair fees after moving in – most policies remain for a whole year. They usually cover the major systems of your home, including appliances and electricals and plumbing.


Transfer Taxes

Real estate transfer taxes get paid by the seller of a house and are charged when the home title is transferred from the old owner to the new buyer. Transfer taxes can be charged by a state, county, or city, or a combination of them.


The cost of transfer tax varies significantly in different parts of the country and can even vary from one city to its neighboring suburbs. And the rates can change over time depending on the tax rate changes and levies. In some parts, transfer taxes only apply to houses sold over a certain price point. You can consult your escrow company or real estate agent the correct rate for your area. There are some areas that charge zero tax on the sale of a house.


What our clients are saying

Sarah D. (Durham, NC)

“The Sell Triangle team really knows their stuff. As a seller in a difficult situation, I was able to not only get a great cash offer for my home, but we were able to close in just a few weeks! I would highly recommend this company for anyone trying to sell their house fast.”

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