You'll pay around 0.8% of your home's final sale price in seller closing costs when you sell a home in Iowa. For a $176,499 home — the median home value in Iowa — you'd pay around $1,474.
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 Iowa 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 Iowa and how much you can expect to pay for each of them. Need estimates for your sale? You'll also find our Iowa seller closing costs calculator!
How much are seller closing costs in Iowa?
Seller closing costs are fees you pay when you finalize the sale of your home in Iowa. These include the costs of verifying and transferring ownership to the buyer and many are unavoidable.
Iowa seller closing costs
🔍 Title service and closing fees
🗞 Owner's title insurance
Typically covered by buyer
🏡 Transfer tax
✍ Recording fees
typically covered by buyer
💰 Property taxes
*Based on a sale price of $176,499, the typical home value in Iowa (Zillow November 30, 2021)
In Iowa, 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 Iowa?
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 Iowa, sellers typically pay for title and closing fees at closing.
Title and closing fees: 0.61%
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 Iowa, 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: 0.06%
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 Iowa, owner's title insurance usually costs around 0.06% of your home's final sale price — or $115 for a $176,500 home. However, the specific rate for your property may vary. Title companies in Iowa often use tiered pricing to determine how much you'll pay for a policy based on your home's value.
Typically, the buyer covers the cost of an owner's title insurance policy in Iowa, but it's not uncommon for both parties to negotiate who pays this closing cost.
Iowa transfer tax: 0.16%
Iowa charges 0.16% of your home's sale price to transfer the title to the new owner. However, our research found that buyers typically cover this cost in Iowa. That doesn't necessarily mean you're off the hook, though. You may still cover the transfer tax if you give your buyer a closing cost credit. Some cities and counties also charge their own transfer tax. Check with your realtor and title company to see what taxes you'll owe in your area.
Iowa recording fees: $0
Your state or local government charges a fee for legally recording a property's deed and mortgage information. Expect to pay around $0 in Iowa — though you may be able to negotiate for the buyer to cover this cost.
Property taxes: Varies
In Iowa, 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 Iowa closing costs for sellers
Every Iowa home sale is unique, and many of them come with unforeseen expenses. For example, you may need to pay out condo fees when you sell your condo in downtown Des Moines, or you may need a real estate attorney to navigate the sale of your Iowa City investment rental. Regardless of your situation, you should be prepared to handle some surprise costs during your transaction. Here are a few 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 Iowa neighborhood you're selling in and other factors.
Iowa closing costs calculator
In Iowa, 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 Iowa 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 Iowa closing costs
While closing costs aren't typically the biggest expense for sellers in Iowa, 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 Iowa 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 Iowa, real estate commission costs an average of $10,413 — 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 $2,471 on a median-priced home in Iowa!
Other home selling costs in Iowa
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 Iowa real estate market has risen at a very healthy rate over the last few years, but list prices have dipped recently, suggesting that sellers don’t have much confidence in the market’s future. That means now is a great time to sell, before the market enters a down cycle.
Whether you’re selling your single family Des Moines home because the kids have gone off the college, or you’re putting your downtown Iowa City condo on the market because your growing family needs more room, you’ll want to make as much money as possible from your home sale.
While you can save yourself a few bucks by negotiating with your buyer to cover some of your closing costs, the most efficient way to preserve your profits is to lower your realtor fees. Fortunately, Clever's pre-negotiated lower listing fees — either 1% or $3,000 — with some of Iowa's best real estate agents. Contact Clever today to see how much you can save!