Closing Costs in San Francisco

Who Pays What?

A breakdown for buyers & sellers


Updated 2019

The below illustrates the current customary breakdown in San Francisco County, but costs can be negotiable in the contract.

Buyers can generally expect their closing costs to range from 1 – 3% of the purchase price. The biggest costs being escrow fees, title insurance, home inspections (although more and more sellers pay for this), the first year of hazard insurance and property tax proration (if any).

Sellers can anticipate to spend 6% to 8% of the sales price, not including loan pay-off and any home preparation or repair costs. Typically, the largest seller costs are brokerage commissions and transfer taxes.

Sellers Typically Pay

  • Brokerage Commissions

  • Real Property Transfer Tax - The transfer tax rate is variable, depending on the purchase price OR the fair market value, as shown in the chart below: Under Proposition 13, Property Taxes are determined when ownership changes (or new construction). The FY 2018-2019 Property Tax Rate = 1.1630%. The the rate is capped at a 2% annual increase. For more information click here.

More than $100 but less than or equal to $250,000.....$2.50 for each $500 or portion thereof

More than $100 but less than or equal to $1,000,000…..$3.40 for each $500 or portion thereof

$1,000,000 or more but less than $5,000,000…..$3.75 for each $500 or portion thereof

$5,000,000 or more but less than $10,000,000…..$3.75 for each $500 or portion thereof 

$10,000,000 or more but less than $25,000,000…..$13.75 for each $500 or portion thereof

$25,000,000 or more…..$15.000 for each $500 or portion thereof

  • Payoff of Existing Property Loans

  • Statement & Reconveyance Fees; any loan prepayment penalties

  • Pre-sale Inspection Reports

  • Natural Hazard Zone Disclosure Statement

  • City Report of Residential Record (3R)

  • Energy & Water Conservation and other statutory compliance work

  • Any judgments, tax liens, and delinquent taxes recorded against property or seller

  • Property Tax Proration (up to time of transfer of title)

  • Any unpaid Homeowner’s Dues (condo)

  • Homeowner’s Association Document Fee (condo)

  • Any bond or assessments (according to contract)

  • HOA move-out fees (for condos)

  • Notary & Courier fees and recording charges

Buyers Typically Pay

  • Title Insurance Premiums

  • Escrow Fees

  • Inspection Reports: pest, contractor (although we actually sellers providing this more and more in San Francisco)

  • Pro-rated Property Taxes (from date of acquisition)

  • Appraisal cost, loan points and fees

  • Interest on New Loan from funding to 30 days prior to first payment

  • Home Warranty (optional)

  • Homeowners Insurance for first year

  • Earthquake Insurance (optional)

  • Homeowners Association Transfer and move-in fees (condos)

  • Pro-rated Homeowners Association fees (for condos)

  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), if required by lender

  • Notary & Courier fees and recording charges for all documents in buyer’s name