Part of the paperwork I provide my buyer clients when making an offer is a Buyer's Estimate of Closing Costs worksheet. This sheet is preliminary and is only an estimate, but I do my best to make it as accurate as possible so that there are no suprises at the settlement table.
There are a few items that raise eyebrows among buyers from out of state who have purchased property before (but not in Wayne or Pike County PA), and one of those items is the Real Estate Transfer Tax.
This transfer tax, charged on all real estate transactions, is 2% of the purchase price. In some states, such as New York, the seller pays this tax. However, in Pennsylvania, the buyer and the seller typically share this tax equally, unless negotiated otherwise with the seller.
In the case of bank foreclosures, it is not uncommon for the bank to require the buyer to pay the entire 2%.
This is normal and the way things are done in our area. It needs to be stressed over, and over - real estate is local. Each state has its own real estate procedure. Even within a state, various counties may do things a little differently.
It really is important for consumers to use local attorneys and real estate agents for their transactions to ensure a smooth sale. I would not dream of trying to facilitate a transaction in an area where I am unfamiliar with the standard practice of real estate.
I recently closed a transaction that took two weeks longer than normal because the buyers insisted on using their Pittsburgh attorney to handle their side of the transaction. This attorney even admitted to us that "It's really difficult being out of the loop - I don't know how you do things over there!"
Ya think? Personally, I think it would have been prudent for that attorney to refer her clients to a local attorney who could serve their needs more efficiently; they would have been in their new home two weeks sooner.