West Virginia Real Estate Transfer Taxes: An In-Depth Guide (2024 Update)

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By Jon Stubbs Updated March 18, 2024

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

West Virginia's current transfer tax rate is $1.10 per $500. So, for a house worth $167,862 — the median home price in the state — the transfer tax due will be $369. 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia: The buyer or the seller?

In West Virginia, usually, the seller is responsible for paying the transfer tax.

If you are looking to sell a property in West Virginia, a top-notch real estate agent will be able to negotiate with the buyer on your behalf. Whether or not this is accepted by the buyer will ultimately depend on the current market conditions. In other words, if the local real estate market is currently favoring the seller, then this will give the agent extra leeway.

How Much Are Transfer Taxes in West Virginia?

Calculating how much real estate transfer tax you need to pay in West Virginia is no easy feat, as the rates are set by your respective county. Regardless of the specific West Virginia county, the minimum rate is $1.10 per $500 of the property's sale price.

However, real estate transfer taxes in Berkeley County amount to $7.70 per $1,000 of the final sale price. If the property sold for $300,000, this would mean that $2,310 in transfer taxes would be due. Other counties throughout the state may have specific additional taxes as well

The amount of information available in the public domain is very limited regarding specific country transfer tax rates in West Virginia, so it's best that you contact your local tax authority. When you use a real estate agent that has extensive knowledge of your local housing market, they'll be able to advise you of the specific rate that you need to pay, if at all.

Can You Deduct Transfer Taxes?

In a nutshell, you cannot deduct any real estate transfer taxes that you have previously paid, against your federal income tax bill. However, what you can do is include the costs of real estate transfer taxes into the cost of your home.

This is crucial, as the costs can be offset against any capital gains tax that is liable when you sell your West Virginia property. This of course is only relevant if you are the seller.

If you are buying a house in West Virginia, and as per any subsequent negotiations that sees you agree to pay some, or all of, the respective real estate transfer taxes, then this should be included in the cost basis of the property. Further down the line, this will enable you to offset the transfer taxes against any liable capital gains, when you eventually sell the property.

When do you pay transfer taxes in West Virginia?

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.

Why Do I Need To Pay Transfer Taxes in West Virginia?

Unlike most other taxes imposed at a county level, real estate transfer taxes in West Virginia are not collected to help fund local services. On the contrary, this is the fee paid to the local authority to make the transfer of the property legal in the respective state.

Apart from Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming, all U.S. states impose a real estate transfer tax when properties are bought and sold.

Other Considerations

If you are looking to buy a property in West Virginia, there is always the chance that your real estate agent will be able to negotiate with the seller, so that they are split 50/50. However, the West Virginia housing market is growing at a much slower pace than the national average, so the marketplace is most definitely in favor of the buyer.

In terms of timing, real estate transfer taxes in West Virginia are usually due at closing. Both buyers and sellers should be able to see the exact amount due on their respective HUD-1 settlement form.

It is also important that you make further real estate tax considerations far and beyond just transfer taxes. This will include the annual property taxes that may be due, as well as how the purchase/sale will affect your federal tax obligations.

As property-related taxes can be a complex battleground, it is best that you seek the services of an experienced real estate agent that knows the local housing market well. They'll be able to guide you through the entire buying/selling process, including that of any applicable transfer taxes that need to be paid.

We’ll 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 3.33%! 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 West Virginia 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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