Pennsylvania Real Estate Closing Costs Statistics (2023 Survey)
A new RealEstateBees.com survey of over 1,000 active real estate professionals found average closing costs for sellers and buyers in Pennsylvania.
We reached out to over 1,000 active real estate professionals from Pennsylvania to collect their insight on the real estate closing costs across the state.
The results are part of the large-scale survey—Nationwide Real Estate Closing Costs Index—conducted by the Real Estate Bees, a leading online real estate platform.
What Is Included in Closing Costs for a Seller in Pennsylvania?
Costs included in seller’s closing costs most commonly across Pennsylvania.
What Are Average Closing Costs for a Seller in Pennsylvania When Selling with a Realtor?
The most common amounts of seller’s closing costs across the state of Pennsylvania in an agent-assisted sale.
What Are Average Closing Costs for a Seller in Pennsylvania When Selling 'by Owner'?
The most common amounts of seller’s closing costs across the state of Pennsylvania in a FSBO sale.
How to Reduce Closing Costs for a Seller in Pennsylvania?
Simple negotiation with the buyer. Ask the buyer to agree to pay for part of closing costs.
I’ve seen buyers offer to pay all closing cost fees just to acquire a property they desperately wanted. Does it happen often? No, but it does happen in rare circumstances.
A seller may attempt to shift some of the closing costs to the buyer to avoid certain closing costs. In the current market, some buyers offer to pay all of the realty transfer taxes, for example.
You can negotiate the closing costs with the buyer. If you have multiple offers on a property, you could use it as leverage to save more money!
Can a Seller Avoid Paying Closing Costs in Pennsylvania?
The seller may be able to avoid closing costs, but seller side conveyancing is best delegated since the stakes are high.
The risk of missing closing or breaching the purchase contract due to missing paperwork is not worth the expense on the seller’s side.
Yes. A seller can tell the buyer they want all closing costs paid for.
I personally pay all the closing costs on many of my real estate deals to make it more appealing for a seller to sell their house to me.
The buyer would need to negotiate with the seller over the purchase price of the property.
If the seller could not sell the house for less and could not cover the closing costs, then the buyer would have to assess how much they want the house.
If they really want the property, I would suggest the buyer just pay it to secure the deal.
If the sale price of a property will put a lot of money in the seller’s pocket, there are some abstract companies and Pennsylvania real estate attorneys that will deduct the closing cost from the seller’s final check.
This wipes out any closing cost debt for the seller, reducing the amount they will get a check for at closing.
Assuming that the seller has sufficient equity in the property, there should be no scenario where the seller could not afford to pay closing costs.
The closing cost expenses will come from the sales proceeds.
What Is Included in Closing Costs for a Buyer in Pennsylvania?
Costs included in buyer’s closing costs most commonly across the state of Pennsylvania.
What Are Average Closing Costs for a Buyer in Pennsylvania When Buying with a Realtor?
The most common amounts of buyer’s closing costs across the state of Pennsylvania in an agent-assisted sale.
What Are Average Closing Costs for a Buyer in Pennsylvania When Buying Without a Realtor?
The most common amounts of buyer’s closing costs across the state of Pennsylvania in a FSBO sale.
What Are Average Closing Costs for a Cash Buyer in Pennsylvania When Buying with a Realtor?
The most common amounts of closing costs paid by Pennsylvania cash home buyers in an agent-assisted sale.
What Are Average Closing Costs for a First-Time Buyer in Pennsylvania When Buying with a Realtor?
The most common amounts of a first-time home buyer’s closing costs across the state of Pennsylvania in an agent-assisted sale.
How to Reduce Closing Costs for a Buyer in Pennsylvania?
If there are not many offers on the property you are interested in, you would be able to negotiate those fees with the seller.
It would be very feasible to save money by simply making an offer on the property and requesting the seller to pay all of the fees.
A buyer could also purchase the property with cash and cut out many of the fees that come with utilizing a mortgage.
If the buyer finances the transaction, the bank generally requires all typical closing costs such as title insurance and deed preparation.
It would not be wise for a buyer to avoid title insurance on a cash deal because the cost is relatively low given the risk associated with title issues.
Although title issues are relatively rare, the loss can be significant.
The buyer can ask the seller for a “seller assist” which can usually be at 3% to 6% of the price of the property.
How to Negotiate Closing Costs With a Seller in Pennsylvania?
Any time you start a negotiation, you have to listen to the other party. You are going to want to problem-solve with them.
If the seller is looking for a quicker sale, then you can offer them less money or ask them to pay some of the closing cost to make the purchase move along quicker.
In the agreement of sale, the buyer can stipulate that the seller is responsible for certain closing costs as part of the offer.
The buyer and seller can request anything they so desire to be paid by the other party in a real estate transaction. Communication is key.
Can a Buyer Avoid Paying Closing Costs in Pennsylvania?
There are rare instances a buyer can forfeit having to pay closing costs. This happened in the early 2000s on the heels of the housing market crisis.
During this time, buyers (if they were creative) could demand the seller foot extra bills for closing because the housing market was a mess and the sellers were so desperate to dump their properties for pennies on the dollar.
Yes. It is possible for a buyer to avoid closing costs!
If a seller needs to sell their house very quickly, or there are too many repairs to be made that a bank will not lend on the property, a seller could offer to pay all the closing costs to attract more buyers.
Theoretically, a buyer could avoid all closing costs on a cash deal. However, it would require shifting realty transfer tax to the seller and taking on considerable risk by waiving title insurance.
Are There Closing Costs Assistance Programs Available for Buyers in Pennsylvania?
The state of Pennsylvania offers a number of first-time homebuyer programs to assist them with closing.
Whether it’s a lower rate loan, down payment assistance programs, or state grants, Pennsylvania, along with many other states, offer incentivized programs to make owning a home an easier process to someone doing it for the first time.
There are programs available in Pennsylvania. You would need to look at your local districts for specific programs, but I know there are first-time homebuyer options available across the state!
Who Pays Closing Costs in a Conventional Sale in Pennsylvania?
Who Pays Closing Costs in a Cash Sale in Pennsylvania?
Are Closing Costs Negotiable in Pennsylvania?
What Are the Available Ways to Pay Closing Costs in Pennsylvania?
Why Are Closing Costs So High in Pennsylvania?
Municipalities in the state of Pennsylvania charge different percentages of transfer tax.
One location may change 1-2% while the next city might charge 4-5%, so it’s very tricky to make a blanket statement why they are so high.
Some locations are low (rural, country areas mostly), while some areas like the city of Scranton it’s 4% or slightly more.
Closing costs can be high depending on the type of deal.
If you want to buy a house in Pennsylvania with a government-backed loan, you will have many more fees involved.
You will need to ensure the property is worth what you are purchasing, check for any big inspection items, and much more.
Realty transfer taxes in Pennsylvania are typically split between the buyer and seller. These taxes can range, depending on the municipality that the transaction takes place.
For example, in the City of Philadelphia, realty transfer tax is currently 3.278% of the purchase price. This is in addition to state taxes, which can add significantly to closing expenses.
Who Pays Closing Costs in a Divorce in Pennsylvania?
Ever since the economic conditions have impressed the need for individuals to ensure that they save cost wherever it is possible, especially while undertaking one of the biggest financial engagements such as owning a home, buyers and sellers have learned to negotiate virtually in every stage of the home purchase transactions.
Today, in Philadelphia, it has become common that the closing cost for a house is split (most times evenly) between the buyer and the seller.
The case is also similar even between spouses in the event of a divorce.
As always, the responsibility for covering these costs incurred during the transfer of ownership of properties falls on the spouse who is buying out the other.
However, splitting this cost is also an option that is open and negotiable between both parties either through their legal representatives or in person.
Some of the closing costs in real estate include the following:
What Are the Transfer Taxes in Closing Costs in Pennsylvania?
Here’s a quick rundown of how things work in Pennsylvania: when it comes to property transactions, both the buyers and sellers pay 1% of the property’s purchase price.
For example, if a property is sold for $200,000, the buyer and seller each pay $2,000.
It’s worth noting that closing costs in Pennsylvania are a bit on the higher side compared to other states.
This is mainly due to the inclusion of transfer taxes and title insurance, which are factored in when a property changes hands.
When I’m dealing with off-market transactions, I usually set aside a budget of around 3-5% for closing costs.
Who Pays Transfer Taxes in Closing Costs in Pennsylvania?
In Philadelphia, it is customary for the transfer tax of property closing costs to be split between the buyer and the seller.
However, the percentage of the split may vary depending on what is negotiated between both parties involved.
Both the buyer and the seller share this responsibility. In certain situations, if a buyer is really eager to snag a particular property, they might employ a clever strategy.
They can cover the 1% of the purchase price that’s usually the seller’s responsibility. This move serves as a negotiation tactic, potentially smoothing the path to acquiring the desired property.