It's important for home sellers to be aware of closing costs to avoid being shocked by a smaller profit due to closing costs. Here’s what sellers in Virginia need to know about closing costs and how to walk away with more money.
Closings costs are an assortment of fees paid during the final stage of a home sale. These fees cover a variety of services from home appraisal costs to credit reports and, in total, can be as much as 7% of a home’s final sale price.
Virginia home sellers are typically responsible for paying closings costs that can be up to 3% of a home’s sale price. Not to mention, this doesn’t include realtor commission fees which are 6% of a home’s sale price on average. In short, sellers can expect to pay around 9% of a home’s sale price in related fees when selling their home.
However, it’s possible to save money and boost the net profits from your sale. Sellers can avoid paying full realtor commission fees by working with a full-service, flat-fee real estate agent. These agents provide the same great service at a much lower price, which saves up to 50% on commissions at closing.
It’s important for sellers to know what costs they’ll be responsible for covering so they can budget appropriately and avoid unexpected expenses. Check out our guide on closing costs for Virginia home sellers and discover how to save big.
What are closing costs?
The last step of a successful home sale is closing. At this time, all of the details in the purchase agreement have been fulfilled and the sale can be finalized. The expenses and fees that accrue and ensure a legal transaction are paid on closing day and are referred to as closing costs.
At closing, final documents need to be signed to officially transfer ownership of the property from one party to another. Once everything has been taken care of, the escrow company will be release the sale funds to the seller, less closing costs and commissions (assuming the seller had enough equity in their house).
How much are closing costs in Virginia?
Virginia closing costs typically range from 1% to 7% of a home's final sale price, with both buyers and sellers responsible for covering some of the costs.
Home buyers generally pay around 4% of a home’s final sale price in closing costs. The majority of buyer closing costs originate from mortgage loan requirements.
Home sellers pay up to 3% of a home’s final sale price in closing costs. They are also traditionally required to pay realtor commission fees for both the listing and buyer’s agent.
Listing agents will usually provide sellers with a net sheet that outlines closing costs and details the final take-home amount.
How to Calculate Your Closing Costs in Virginia
Sellers can calculate their closing costs in Virginia to get a ballpark estimate of what they can expect to pay. Knowing how much you have to pay makes it easier to budget for and gives sellers time to budget selling costs in advance.
Here’s an equation to help sellers calculate closing costs in Virginia:
(Final Sale Price) x (Closing Cost Percentage) = Closing Costs
September 2019 data from Zillow shows that the median sales price for homes in Virginia sits at $269,900, so the equation would look like this:
$269,900 x .03 = $8,070
Virginia home sellers can expect to pay up to $8,070 in closing costs, though this number may vary and is a rough estimate. Also remember that agent commissions are not part of closing costs, but are paid on closing day. On a median sales price, sellers would pay another $16,194 to the realtors involved in the sale.
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What’s included in Virginia closing costs?
Virginia closing cost covers a variety of services that are necessary for the completion of a successful home sale. These costs vary, but sellers should know all of the closing costs that they may have to cover, especially if they agree to cover some of the buyer’s costs during negotiation.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s included in Virginia closing costs.
Title Search: $300 to $500
A title search is used to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no current claims on the property that would affect the home sale.
Title Insurance: $1000
Title insurance protects the policyholder in the event that an issue with the title is revealed after closing. There are usually two policies taken out: one for the lender and one for the buyer.
Home Inspection: $300 to $500
The home inspection details any defects of the home's structure or major systems.
Appraisal: $450 to $650
A home appraisal is used to confirm a home's value against the loan that the buyer is taking out.
Survey: $350 to 500
Properties are surveyed before being sold to confirm the property lines and boundaries.
Credit Report: $20 to $50
A credit report is performed by mortgage lenders to ensure that the borrower has a favorable credit history.
Loan Payoff Fees: 1.5% of the sale price
These are the fees that arise when a mortgage loan is paid off in full.
Mortgage Payoff/Prepayment Penalty: Varies
Your lender may issue a penalty if you pay your mortgage off earlier than the term’s. Contact your lender for more information.
Outstanding Amounts Owed on the Property: Varies
These amounts are common homeownership costs such as utility bills, property taxes, HOA fees, and homeowners insurance.
Transfer Taxes: Varies
A transfer tax is accrued when a property changes ownership. The Virginia grantor tax is $1 for every $1,000 of the sale price, plus there’s the state transfer tax of $0.25 for every $1 of the sale price. However, the total tax bill will vary by location as there could be additional county or city taxes.
Recording Fees: Varies
These are fees related to the deed filing done with the county the property is in; a third-party typically handles this.
Attorney Fee: $500 to $1,250
Virginia law dictates that an attorney must be present at closing, even if you’ve hired a licensed realtor.
Other Home Selling Costs in Virginia
Closing costs aren't the only thing that sellers in Virginia have to worry about. It's imperative to understand other home selling costs so as not to be surprised by them later on.
Many homes can sell for more if repairs and improvements — big and small — are made. Getting a home inspection and talking with your real estate agent will help you decide what repairs to make and how much they’ll cost.
Another major cost to Virginia home sellers is realtor commission fees which sellers are traditionally responsible for paying. The average realtor commission in Virginia is 6% of a home’s sale price and is split between the listing and buyer’s agents. As the median sale price for Virginia homes is $269,900, realtor commission sits around $16,194.
Who pays closing costs in Virginia?
Both buyers and sellers must pay closing costs in the state of Virginia. Who pays what costs may be negotiated between buyers and sellers, but must be agreed upon in the purchase agreement to be legally binding. Overall, sellers pay from 1-3% of a home sale price in closing cost and buyers pay around 5-6%.
Typical Seller Closing Costs
Sellers are responsible for paying most closing costs that relate to transferring ownership of the house as well as realtor commission fees. Here’s what sellers can expect to cover:
- Recording Fees
- Fees for Buyer’s Title Insurance
- Outstanding Amounts Owed on the Property
- Transfer Taxes
- Mortgage Payoff and Prepayment Penalty*
- Attorney Fees
Typical Buyer Closing Costs
Buyers cover closing costs that relate to the mortgage application and approval process. Here are buyer closing costs:
- Loan Fees
- Lender’s Title Insurance
- Credit Report Fees
- Title Search Fees
- Appraisal Fee
- Home Inspection Fees
- Settlement Fees*
- Survey Fees*
- Buyer’s Attorney Fees*
*Not applicable to all home sales.
Should you pay the buyer’s closing costs?
Paying a buyer's closing costs is a common seller concession in a cool market to stand out among the competition. Sellers offer to pay buyers closing costs in order to entice them to purchase their home.
As sellers have to pay realtor commission fees and their own closing costs, this seller concession should not be offered without careful consideration. It's a good idea to discuss this option with your real estate agent. Your agent will have expert knowledge of the market to help you determine whether covering some of the buyer’s closing costs is a good move for you and your home sale.
Key Takeaways for Virginia Home Sellers
Closing costs for Virginia home sellers can amount to 3% of their home’s final sale price and cover a wide range of services. Sellers are also responsible for paying realtor commission fees that are 6% of a home’s sale price on average.
The total closing costs that a seller will pay will depend on negotiation, the market, the home’s price, and what concessions the seller offers.
An experienced real estate agent, tax advisor, or attorney is a seller’s best bet when it comes to getting an accurate idea of how much they’ll pay in closing costs. Sellers can also rely on an agent-supplied net sheet to determine what they’ll pay and how much they can expect to take home on the sale.
Clever Real Estate offers sellers the chance to save up to 50% on realtor commission fees so they keep more money after closing. Clever connects sellers with top, full-service agents who offer deep discounts and make it possible for sellers to get quality service at affordable prices.