You'll pay around 0.8% of your home's final sale price in seller closing costs when you sell a home in California. For a $790,475 home — the median home value in California — you'd pay around $6,491.
In most cases, your closing costs will come out of your sales proceeds — but they're only a portion of what you'll pay at closing. Expect to pay realtor fees, your mortgage payoff, and other home selling expenses as well. If you don't get enough money for your home to pay off these expenses, you may have to pay for some of them out-of-pocket.
Since realtor fees will likely be one of your biggest expenses, finding a lower rate is one of the best ways to save when you sell. Thankfully, you can save money by finding an agent with Clever! We pre-negotiate low listing fees of just $3,000 or 1% with top full-service California realtors so you can keep more in your pocket after selling your home.
Keep reading to find out which closing costs sellers typically cover in California and how much you can expect to pay for each of them. Need estimates for your sale? You'll also find our California seller closing costs calculator!
How much are seller closing costs in California?
Seller closing costs are fees you pay when you finalize the sale of your home in California. These include the costs of verifying and transferring ownership to the buyer and many are unavoidable.
California seller closing costs
🔍 Title service and closing fees
🗞 Owner's title insurance
🏡 Transfer tax
✍ Recording fees
💰 Property taxes
*Based on a sale price of $790,475, the typical home value in California (Zillow April 30, 2022)
In California, you'll pay about 0.8% of your home's final sale price in closing costs, not including realtor fees.
Keep in mind that this is only an estimate. While closing costs will always have to be paid, your real estate agent can often negotiate who pays them — you or the buyer.
Who pays closing costs in California?
Buyers and sellers share the burden of paying for closing costs at the end of a home sale, but they won’t pay for the same things. In California, sellers typically pay for title and closing fees, transfer taxes, owner's title insurance, and recording fees at closing.
Title and closing fees: 0.31%
When you sell your home, you have to transfer legal ownership of the property to the buyer. Before that, your settlement agent will do a title search to make sure no one else has a legal claim to the property.
Title fees pay for the settlement agent who handles the search and transfer of your title, as well as other related closing services.
In California, the buyer and seller typically cover the cost of their own title company or closing agent, but don’t expect this for every sale. Ask your realtor if you're not sure.
Owner's title insurance: 0.37%
An owner's title insurance policy protects a buyer in case a problem arises regarding previous ownership of a title. This includes anything from clerical errors in the paperwork to full disputes over ownership. This title insurance policy covers any fees for legal representation or to reimburse the value of a home if mistakes are made.
In California, owner's title insurance usually costs around 0.37% of your home's final sale price — or $2,907 for a $790,500 home. However, the specific rate for your property may vary. Title companies in California often use tiered pricing to determine how much you'll pay for a policy based on your home's value.
Typically, the seller covers the cost of an owner's title insurance policy in California, but it's not uncommon for both parties to negotiate who pays this closing cost.
California transfer tax: 0.11%
California charges you about 0.11% of your home's sale price to transfer the title to the new owner. If you sell for California's median home value — $790,000 — you'd pay $869. However, your county or city may also charge their own transfer taxes. Check with your realtor and title company to see what taxes you'll owe in your area.
California recording fees: $244
Your state or local government charges a fee for legally recording a property's deed and mortgage information. Expect to pay around $244 in California — though you may be able to negotiate for the buyer to cover this cost.
Property taxes: Varies
In California, your county may collect property taxes for the current year at the end of the year. If that's the case in your area, you'll pay property taxes at closing for the portion of the year that you owned the property. That way, the buyer doesn't have to pay taxes for the entire year when they only owned it for a few months.
In areas where you pay property taxes at the beginning of the year, the buyer would typically reimburse you at closing for the remaining months.
Other California closing costs for sellers
Every California home sale is unique, and many of them could come with unanticipated fees attached. For example, that Lake Tahoe condo may come with condo fees, or you may need to hire a real estate attorney to navigate the complex sale of your Orange County duplex. Whatever your situation may be, you should be prepared to pay some surprise fees. Here are some of the most common:
- Homeowners Association (HOA) fees
- Settlement or attorney fees
- Property appraisal fees
- Mortgage payoff and/or prepayment penalties
Your realtor will have a better idea of the closing costs you can expect to pay, depending on the California neighborhood you're selling in and other factors.
California closing costs calculator
In California, you should expect to pay around 0.8% of your home's final sale price in closing costs — although your exact charges will vary based on your home's value, local fees, and your arrangements with the buyer.
Use this California closing costs calculator to see how much money will come out of your proceeds at closing — and how much you'll take home after the sale.
How to save on California closing costs
While closing costs aren't typically the biggest expense for sellers in California, you do have some options to help you pay less, if possible.
Negotiate for the buyer to pay
If you're selling in the middle of a hot seller's market with low housing inventory, you may be able to ask the buyer to cover some of your closing costs.
Competition among buyers is fierce in these market conditions, so they're typically more willing to make concessions so you'll accept their offer on your California home.
Shop around for better prices
You can also save some money by shopping around for cheaper rates on services like title insurance and closing fees.
However, these costs are relatively low and tend to be fairly consistent from title company to title company. When you're already navigating inspections, repair requests, and appraisals, calling seven different companies to find a $50 discount on owner's title insurance probably isn't worth the hassle!
Save on realtor fees
The best way to save money on a big chunk of your selling costs is to find a realtor who charges lower listing fees. In California, real estate commission costs an average of $37,970 — that's typically more expensive than the rest of your closing costs combined!
Thankfully, there's a way to save big by selling with Clever. With listing fees of just $3,000 or 1%, you'll save an average of $11,623 on a median-priced home in California!
Other home selling costs in California
Closing costs aren't the only expenses you'll have to pay when you sell your home. As noted, most sellers cover the realtor commission for both their agent and the buyer's agent.
On top of realtor fees and closing costs, you may also face these expenses:
- Repairs and prepping your home to sell
- Buyer incentives, like offering a home warranty
- Relocation and moving expenses
The California real estate market has been booming over the past decade, and demand is as high as ever, so this is a great time to cash out for a tidy profit.
Whether you’re leaving Los Angeles for a slower-paced lifestyle, or selling your Oakland investment property to fund your retirement, you want to maximize the profits from your home sale.
And the best way to save when you sell your California home is by lowering your realtor commission costs. The average real estate commission in California is 4.90% of the final sale price, which really adds up when you’re talking about a six or seven figure sale. Fortunately, Clever's pre-negotiated lower listing fees — either 1% or $3,000 — with some of California's best real estate agents. Contact Clever today to see how much you can save!
Frequently asked questions
In California, closing costs usually amount to around 0.8% of a home’s sale price, not including realtor fees. With a median home value of $790,475, sellers can expect to pay around $6,491 at closing.
Buyers and sellers share the burden of paying for closing costs at the end of a home sale, but they won’t pay for the same things. In California, sellers typically pay for title and closing fees, transfer taxes, owner's title insurance, and recording fees.