Closing Costs: Builders Are Passing Seller Fees to Buyers

Real Estate Agent with The Boulevard Company SC 66445

This week my eyes were opened to a new trend starting with new home communities: The builders are having buyers pay deed stamps at closing.

The fee for deed stamps has always been part of a seller’s closing costs – the majority of a seller’s closing costs – and now builders are passing the fee on to the consumer. In South Carolina the fee is $1.85 for every $500 in the sales price, so on a $100,000 it’s $370; on a $500,000 house it’s $1850.

Having to pay deed stamps may not be enough to stop the show for you if you’re buying new construction, but it’s a fee you may not be expecting when you accept the builder’s offer to pay $3000 toward your closing costs. That $3000 gets eaten up pretty quickly, especially if you throw in a surprise $1000 fee for deed stamps.

Share this article with your Realtor® if you’re buying new construction so you can negotiate who’s paying the deed stamps right up front. It’s spelled out in the builder’s contract but it’s not highlighted or brought up when you’re signing, which means if you and your agent don’t read every word it could become a show stopper at closing… not good!

Call me at 843-870-0890 if you’re buying or selling anywhere in the world; through my network of agents in The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World I can help you move around the corner or around the globe.

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Stephanie Davis REALTOR® ABR, GRI, SFR
© Carolina One Real Estate


Serving Goose Creek and the Greater Charleston, SC area


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Michael Johnson
Carolina One Real Estate - Goose Creek, SC
Metro Charleston SC

I have not seen this yet but it is definately something to keep an eye out for.  Thanks for the info!

Feb 08, 2011 02:44 AM #1
Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

Deed stamps, huh?  I don't know exactly what those are but I think the concept of looking out for hidden costs would still apply to our area.  Interesting what those in positions of knowledge will try to pull over on the unsuspecting . . . .

Feb 08, 2011 06:39 AM #2
Demarco & Marisa
Remax Kings Realty - Riverside, CA
"The Choice is Clear!"

Another thing that builders do out her in California is tell the buyer that they are giving them an incentive and then they turn around and make it up on the back end of the loan. They tell the buyer the rate they're giving them is par, when it really isn't. So no, you're not getting something for nothing from the builder, even if it looks that way.

Feb 08, 2011 07:09 PM #3
Stephanie Davis
The Boulevard Company - Charleston, SC
Broker Associate and REALTOR®

Michael and Brenda - Every builder has their own contract, which makes it hard for us to really know what's in them. Hopefully this information will help you with your clients.

Marisa - That is a good point and something I've always coached my buyers about. The builder is "in bed" with the lender so to speak, so they create a package that looks like a win-win for everyone, when in reality the win-win is at the expense of the buyer. Thanks for your input.

Feb 09, 2011 02:47 AM #4
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Stephanie Davis

Broker Associate and REALTOR®
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