In Florida, transfer taxes are also referred to as "documentary stamps" or "doc stamps," and they're typically paid by the seller.
Figuring out the amount of your doc stamps depends on the location of the house. Listings outside of Miami-Dade County have a rate of 70 cents per $100 — meaning that a $300,000 house will cost $2,100 in transfer fees. Meanwhile, those in Miami-Dade are charged 60 cents for every $100, so using the $300,000 home example, the transfer fees would only cost $1,800.
These fees can be quite hefty for sellers, but working with a company like Clever Real Estate can help you cut down on some costs. Our concierge team will partner you with an experienced local agent that will help you throughout the transaction for a discounted rate. Your savings with Clever can cover most, if not all, of your transfer fee dues.
Transfer taxes are a necessary evil when selling a home. But the good news is there are ways to save on home selling costs that can lessen the blow.
When you find your agent through Clever's free matching service, you get a pre-negotiated 1.5% listing fee — half the usual rate.
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What taxes will you have to pay on your real estate transaction in Florida? Let's take a closer look at how Florida real estate transfer taxes work and how much you can expect to pay.
Who pays transfer taxes in Florida: The buyer or the seller?
In most Florida home sales, the seller is responsible for paying the Doc Stamps. However, responsibility for the transfer taxes can be transferred during closing negotiations. The final payee will be outlined in the contract.
How much are transfer taxes in Florida?
In Florida, transfer taxes aren't necessarily charged on every transfer of property. For instance, let's say you're adding a spouse to the deed as an owner — there won't be any need for Doc Stamps in that case.
Additionally, if you're transferring property between two people and the deed is simply being changed, even if a spouse isn't involved, you won't have to pay the transfer tax. Certain actions, like adding an executor or adding an owner to the deed, wouldn't be considered a transfer, so no transfer tax would be assessed.
If an actual transfer takes place, such as during a sale, then transfer taxes will be assessed. Those taxes are paid to individual counties, which then send them on to the State Department of Revenue. Florida transfer taxes are the same in every county with the exception of Miami-Dade.
Outside of Miami-Dade County
Outside of Miami-Dade County, the transfer tax rate is 70 cents per $100 of the deed's consideration. In other words, you can calculate the transfer tax in the following way:
(Total Price/$100) x .70 = Doc Stamps Cost
So, let's say you live in Key West. Since Key West is in Monroe County, you would be paying the non-Miami-Dade tax rate listed above. The median sale price in Key West is $716,135.
If you sold a home at the median sale price in Key West, you could figure out the transfer tax rate as follows.
($716,135/$100) x .70 = $5,012.95
You'd have to factor in a transfer tax of about $5,013. If you're the buyer, you probably won't have to worry about this tax. But if you're the seller, this could be an unexpected increase in the cost of selling your home were you were not aware of the tax before the sale.
That's why it's so important to understand transfer taxes and other real estate taxes before you go to make any home sale or purchase.
Within Miami-Dade County
If you live in Miami-Dade County, or you're transferring property here, you're in a bit of luck. The rate in this county is lower than it is in other counties in Florida. In Miami-Dade County, your rate is 60 cents per $100.
The median sale price in Miami is $370,738. Transfer taxes would come out to:
($370,738/$100) x .60 = $2,224.43
This just goes to show how dramatically different Florida transfer taxes can be based solely on where the transfer of property is taking place.
Usually, the seller's agent will obtain a check from the seller that covers the amount of the Doc Stamps before the deed is recorded. However, just because you're a buyer doesn't mean you're off the hook. In some cases, the buyer is responsible.
This is why it's important to talk to your real estate agent and obtain expert guidance throughout the home buying and home selling process.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to change the transfer tax requirement, but you can cut overall costs by working with a discount real estate broker like Clever.
We’ll set you up with a local agent to help you with the finer details of selling a house, and you’ll only have to pay 1.5% in listing fees compared to the national average of 3%. The savings you get by using our service can help recoup the cost of your doc stamps.
Can you deduct transfer taxes?
Usually, you can't deduct transfer taxes when it comes time to file your tax return. However, there are two potential situations in which you can still capture some tax savings.
Firstly, if you're using the property in question as a rental home or investment property, you can sometimes write it off as a business expense. If that's not possible, you can wrap those taxes into the cost basis of the property.
The cost basis of the property is basically what you had to pay in order to acquire the property, and is used to arrive at the amount of capital gains taxes you'll owe. Your capital gains are arrived by deducting the cost basis of your property from the total price, so including the cost of the Doc Stamps can be helpful in lowering these taxes.
When do you pay Florida transfer taxes?
Regardless of who pays the transfer taxes (or Doc Stamps), they're always paid at closing. On residential sales, the amount will be included on the HUD-1 settlement forms.
Real estate transactions are subject to federal and state taxes, as well, such as the capital gains tax mentioned above. If you have to pay capital gains taxes, those will be due at filing.
Florida transfer taxes summary
Although Florida’s transfer tax fees are fairly straightforward, there’s a lot to keep in mind when buying and selling a house. To ensure that you don’t get shortchanged, it's best to work with an expert in your area.
Only an experienced agent can help you understand the fees and taxes that apply to your location, advocate for you through the process, and help you obtain the best outcome. Knowing what's ahead can help you plan accordingly so you don't run into any surprises that could be financially detrimental, especially in a state like Florida, where tax fees can be steep.
Not only will you receive expert advice from your Clever agent, but they'll also work for just 1.5% (compared to the usual 3%). The money you save working with Clever Partner Agents can help you recoup closing costs and doc stamp fees.