How Much Are Closing Costs for Sellers in Washington D.C.?

Trevor Wallis


Trevor Wallis

June 1st, 2022
Updated June 1st, 2022


How much are Washington D.C. closing costs? | Who pays them? | Washington D.C. seller closing costs calculator | How to save when you sell | FAQs

You'll pay around 2.2% of your home's final sale price in seller closing costs when you sell a home in Washington D.C.. For a $554,922 home — the median home value in Washington D.C. — you'd pay around $11,984.

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 Washington D.C. realtors so you can keep more in your pocket after selling your home.

💰 SAVE: Find top local agents, save thousands on realtor fees!

Keep reading to find out which closing costs sellers typically cover in Washington D.C. and how much you can expect to pay for each of them. Need estimates for your sale? You'll also find our Washington D.C. seller closing costs calculator!

How much are seller closing costs in Washington D.C.?

Seller closing costs are fees you pay when you finalize the sale of your home in Washington D.C.. These include the costs of verifying and transferring ownership to the buyer and many are unavoidable.

Washington D.C. seller closing costs
Average rate
Average cost*
🔍 Title service and closing fees
🗞 Owner's title insurance
Typically covered by buyer
🏡 Transfer tax
✍ Recording fees
💰 Property taxes
*Based on a sale price of $554,922, the typical home value in Washington D.C. (Zillow May 31, 2022)

In Washington D.C., you'll pay about 2.2% 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 Washington D.C.?

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 Washington D.C., sellers typically pay for title and closing fees and recording fees at closing.

» FIND: Learn more about buyer closing costs in Washington D.C.

Title and closing fees: 0.23%

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 Washington D.C., 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: 0.47%

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 Washington D.C., owner's title insurance usually costs around 0.47% of your home's final sale price — or $2,605 for a $554,900 home. However, the specific rate for your property may vary. Title companies in Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C., but it's not uncommon for both parties to negotiate who pays this closing cost.

» MORE: What Is title insurance, and why do you need it?

Washington D.C. transfer tax: 1.45%

Washington D.C. charges 1.45% 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 Washington D.C.. 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.

» FIND: Learn more about transfer taxes in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. recording fees: $50

Your state or local government charges a fee for legally recording a property's deed and mortgage information. Expect to pay around $50 in Washington D.C. — though you may be able to negotiate for the buyer to cover this cost.

Property taxes: Varies

In Washington D.C., 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 Washington D.C. closing costs for sellers

Every Washington D.C. sale is unique, and many of them come with surprise fees attached. Maybe you have to pay for a property appraisal, out of pocket, on your historic Georgetown townhome, or maybe you get hit with a penalty for paying off your Petworth condo’s mortgage early. Whatever your situation, you should be prepared to handle some surprise fees during your transaction. 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 Washington D.C. neighborhood you're selling in and other factors.

Washington D.C. closing costs calculator

In Washington D.C., you should expect to pay around 2.2% 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 Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. closing costs

While closing costs aren't typically the biggest expense for sellers in Washington D.C., 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 Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C., real estate commission costs an average of $29,199 — 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 $9,917 on a median-priced home in Washington D.C.!

👋 Match with top local agents, get unbelievable savings!

Clever has saved thousands of happy customers over $50 million — we can help you keep more money in your pocket too!

With Clever:  

 ✅ Sellers pay only $3,000 or 1% in listing fees

 ✅ Buyers get up to 0.5% cash back on eligible purchases

 ✅ You'll work with a full-service realtor with pricing expertise in your local market

Clever's service is 100% free, with zero obligation. You can interview as many agents as you like, or walk away at any time. Enter your zip code to find a top local agent today!

Other home selling costs in Washington D.C.

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

» LEARN: How much does it cost to sell a house in Washington D.C.?

Next steps

The District of Columbia has enjoyed one of the hottest real estate markets in the country over the past decade. While the boom has slightly cooled in recent years, home values in the District are still far above the national average, and the pace of appreciation remains high. Bottom line: it’s a great time to sell!
Maybe you’re selling your Ledroit Park investment rental to move that money into other investments, or maybe you’re selling your Dupont Circle condo because you need more room for your growing family. Regardless, you’ll want to get the most money possible from your home sale.
You can save yourself a small amount of money if you can negotiate with your buyer to cover some of your closing costs, but the most efficient way to preserve the largest amount of your profits is to reduce your realtor fees. Fortunately, Clever's pre-negotiated lower listing fees — either 1% or $3,000 — with some of Washington D.C.'s best real estate agents. Contact Clever today to see how much you can save!

👋 Next Steps: Talk to an expert!

If you're weighing your options for buying or selling a house, Clever can help!

Our fully-licensed concierge team is standing by to answer questions and provide free, objective advice on getting the best outcome with your sale or purchase.

Ready to get started?

Give us a call at 1-833-2-CLEVER or enter your info below. Our concierge team will be in touch shortly to help.

Remember, this service is 100% free and there’s never any obligation.

Frequently asked questions

In Washington D.C., closing costs usually amount to around 2.2% of a home’s sale price, not including realtor fees. With a median home value of $554,922, sellers can expect to pay around $11,984 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 Washington D.C., sellers typically pay for title and closing fees and recording fees.

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