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

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By Jon Stubbs Updated March 18, 2024


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

South Dakota's current transfer tax rate is $0.50 per $500. So, for a house worth $299,062 — the median home price in the state — the transfer tax due will be $299. 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 Dakota 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 commission.

💰 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 Dakota: The buyer or the seller?

In South Dakota, the seller usually pays the transfer taxes. The contract will specify who pays what fees, and of course is open to negotiation.

However, normally the seller is responsible for transfer taxes, real estate commission, sales tax, attorney fees the seller incurs, a prorated portion of the property taxes, and the utilities and insurance up until the day of the sale. Title insurance can be paid by either the buyer or seller or split between the two.

A buyer can expect to pay closing costs that include lender fees, escrow, form preparation, appraisal fees, recording fees, and any attorney fees the buyer incurs. The buyer also pays for the pre-sale inspection.

How Much Are Transfer Taxes in South Dakota?

The cost of transfer taxes in South Dakota is $0.50 per $500 of the home's sale value. Most real estate transfers will be charged this tax, but there are some exceptions.

Exceptions include, but are not limited to, transfers between spouses, foreclosure, distribution of estates, divorces, or pure gifts. These transactions may have other taxes and fees, however.

The median home value in South Dakota is $299,062. For a home of that price, the seller can expect to pay transfer taxes of $299.

The transfer taxes are in addition to recording fees and capital gains taxes that buyers and sellers also have to pay.

Can You Deduct Transfer Taxes?

Because transfer taxes are an expense related to a home sale, it's common for sellers to wonder if they can deduct the expense on their state or federal taxes.

Unfortunately, you cannot deduct it from your taxes. However, you can consider the fee when calculating the total profit you gained from the home sale. As a result, it can help reduce the capital gains taxes you may owe when a home is sold.

A home seller can exclude $250,000 of the home profits from capital gains taxes ($500,000 if you're married filing jointly.) If you've sold a more expensive home, the various fees can help you reduce your profit below that level. Transfer taxes are part of those fees.

The good news is that if you are above $250,000 (or $500,000), you're only taxed on the amount above the exclusion. So it pays to reduce that amount by every dollar you can!

When do you pay transfer taxes in South Dakota?

Transfer taxes are paid at the closing of a deal, and in most cases are paid by the seller. So, when you're filing your taxes, sellers should be sure to deduct the transfer tax from their capital gain.

This is especially important because capital gains tax is paid to the federal government and the transfer tax is paid to the state government. So, chances are, you'll be paying both these taxes separately, and at different times.

Other Considerations

Generally, transfer taxes are part of the fees paid by the seller at closing. While the seller will not need cash handy, they will receive a check for the home sale that will be lessened by the various costs of selling the home.

The transfer tax amount will be noted on the HUD-1 form for residential real estate buyers and sellers. If the seller also owes capital gains taxes, that amount will not be due until the current year's taxes are filed and payment is due, usually April 15th of the following year.

Whether you're a buyer or a seller, it's important to work with a well-qualified local real estate agent. A buyer's agent will help you find a great home at an excellent price. They can help you understand the market, handle price negotiations, make sure your paperwork is in order, and suggest key professionals you need as part of the transaction.

A seller's agent helps you price and stage your home, negotiate offers, and put your home on the market at the right time. The agent will coordinate showings and help screen buyers so that you only deal with serious offers. In the end, working with a realtor can help you get thousands more for your home than you would alone.

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 2.83%! 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 South Dakota transfer taxes


  • 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 March 2024.

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