Customary Fees for Selling a Home in Sacramento
A sure sign for a Sacramento listing agent that the buyer is “not from around these here parts” is when the buyer’s agent submits an offer that is not in line with customary standards for selling a home in Sacramento. While the seller’s closing costs are not actually etched in stone and they are negotiable, there are still customary ways of splitting costs or paying the fees that parties come to expect.
It’s kinda like how you know if it’s August, it’s time to put up your hair, wear minimum jewelry (because anything metal will burn) and limit your exposure to the sun. Nobody really tells you how to survive our extreme 100+ summer heat, it’s just common sense. Or, alternatively, you just hop in your car and head for the Bay area.
As you’re leaving town, the buyers from the Bay area are heading this direction, pulling their Bay area agents in tow. Our lockbox keys are not yet reciprocal, so it’s often difficult for Bay area agents to show homes in Sacramento, not to mention there is the whole pricing issue and being unfamiliar with neighborhoods that can lead their buyers to overpaying for homes, which is not unusual. Sacramento sellers often pray for a Bay area buyer. Please send me some fool from San Jose, they beg.
If a Bay area buyer would like to downplay the fact that they don’t know the area and their agent may be unfamiliar with customary ways of writing offers in Sacramento, then at the very least there should be a discussion about fees in the purchase contract. It is permissible to pay all of the fees, if the buyer wants, but it’s not always necessary. It is not customary for the seller to pay all of the fees, however.
Your best bet is to call the listing agent and discuss the offer beforehand. When the seller is paying title and escrow, for example, typically the seller chooses the title company in Sacramento. The trend seems to be moving toward sellers and buyers splitting the escrow fee as well, just like the city transfer tax is often paid 50 / 50. But there’s no law that dictates, except for RESPA, and that doesn’t affect fees the sellers pay. For more information, call Elizabeth Weintraub, Sacramento listing agent, Lyon RE, at 916.233.6759.