South Carolina Real Estate Transfer Taxes: An In-Depth Guide (2024 Update)

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By Jon Stubbs Updated March 14, 2024

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Who pays transfer taxes? | When are transfer taxes paid? | Methodology

South Carolina's current transfer tax rate is $1.85 per $500. So, for a house worth $296,251 — the median home price in the state — the transfer tax due will be $1,096. It doesn’t stop there, however, as cities within the state may charge an additional fee on top of the standard rate, which can cause your total dues to increase.

The specifics on who pays the transfer tax in South Carolina are sometimes up for negotiation, but usually the seller is responsible.

Clever Real Estate can help you cut costs here — our concierge team will partner you with an experienced agent who can help you negotiate a good deal with your buyer on transfer taxes. Not to mention, you'll save big by paying only 1.5% in listing commission, which is much cheaper than the state average of 2.80%.

💰 Find an agent who can negotiate your transfer taxes

You can't change transfer tax rates. But, an experienced Clever Real Estate agent can help you win the negotiation battle so you aren't stuck paying all of the transfer taxes on your own.

When you choose Clever, you'll work with a full-service realtor with transfer tax expertise in your local market.

Clever's service is totally free, with zero obligation — you can walk away at any time.

Who pays transfer taxes in South Carolina: The buyer or the seller?

In the state of South Carolina, a deed recording fee is required when a property changes ownership. This is charged by the state for entering the transfer ownership change into public records.

It is customary for the seller of the property to pay all real estate transfer taxes in South Carolina. The transfer taxes are usually due at the time of closing, alongside other fees such as appraisal fees or agent fees.

If you are selling a property in South Carolina — don't despair, as the rules are not set in stone. In other words, by using an experienced real estate agent based in the South Carolina area, they might be able to negotiate with the buyer to split the fees 50/50.

How Much Are Transfer Taxes in South Carolina?

As noted by the South Carolina Department of Revenue, deed recording fees are imposed on a county-by-county basis. Although real estate transfer taxes are collected by your respective county, the rates remain constant throughout the state.

The fees amount to $1.85 per $500, based on the amount that the property sold for. For example, if the property sold for $296,251, then $1,096 in real estate transfer taxes would be due.

When do you pay transfer taxes in South Carolina?

The fees are to be paid to the clerk of court for your South Carolina county on the 20th of the month following the date that the deed recording was made. You can settle your transfer taxes via the official South Carolina Department of Revenue website.

If you're wondering where these fees actually go, they're split between the state and the county. For every $1.85 that is collected in real estate transfer taxes, $1.30 goes to the state, while the remaining $0.55 goes to the respective council.

There is no official guidance on what the funds are spent on, as they do not to a specific state or county budget. However, in most cases, U.S. real estate transfer taxes are used to fund local services.

Can You Deduct Transfer Taxes?

Unfortunately, you are unable to deduct real estate transfer taxes from your federal tax bill. However, you do have the option of including these costs into the overall cost of selling your home, as per any liable capital gains tax that you might face.

If you're looking to buy a house in South Carolina and you agree to pay some of the applicable real estate transfer taxes, then you can include this into the cost basis of the purchase. Although you won't see any tax benefits until you sell your house, you can offset these against capital gains, when you eventually do.

Other Considerations

Real estate transfer taxes can be a confusing part of the home buying and selling process, not least because it is often unclear who actually needs to pay them. Although you will likely need to pay them if you are the one selling the property, an experienced real estate agent might be able to get the buyer to split the costs 50/50.

Clever can partner you with a local real estate agent who knows how to deal with the state’s tax and helps negotiate a deal in your favor. What’s more, our agents charge only a 1.5% listing fee compared to the state average of 2.80%! The money you'll save can more than offset the cost of the transfer taxes.

» SAVE: Learn more about how a Clever agent can help you navigate California transfer taxes

Methodology

  • Transfer tax amounts are based on government website information as of February 2024.
  • We gathered our listing commission rate data from a December 2023 survey of 630 of our partner agents.
  • Home values, list prices, and sale prices are based on Zillow data as of April 2024.

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