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Olympia WA Home Sellers See Relief in Sales Tax in 2020

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA

Starting January 1, 2020, many home sellers in Thurston County, WA will see relief in their Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) that they pay to the state of Washington when they sell their home.


In the past, most areas in Thurston County were taxed 1.78% (1.28% state tax rate + 0.50% local rate) of the sales price and were paid by the seller at the time of their home sale.


Now in 2020, the tax rate changed to a graduated structure, lowering the cost for most home sellers in Thurston County.


For a sales price of $500,000, the new combined tax rate is 1.60% of the sales price (1.10% state tax rate + 0.50% local rate) versus the previous rate of 1.78 percent.  This is a savings of $900 to the seller.  See the chart below for the graduated tax rates.




With the median sales price in Thurston County at approximately $340,000, many sellers this year will enjoy this reduced tax rate.


Between extremely low inventory, high buyer demand and now a break for most sellers on their sales tax obligation, this year will be a win for most homeowners who are considering selling.  For the specific details on your home sale, contact me today. 




  • This legislation does not affect rates for timberland or agricultural land which will remain subject to REET at 1.28% tax rate. 


  • For the town of Rainier in Thurston County, the local rate is 0.25 percent.


  • These thresholds may be adjusted in 2022 (and every four years following).  Please visit the Department of Revenue for details (www.dor.wa.gov).

Posted by


Francine Viola, Realtor
In Tune with your Real Estate Needs


Serving Buyers and Sellers in Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey and Thurston County, WA

Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc.  |  Olympia, WA


Cell:      (360) 359-0689

Email:  Francine.Viola@cbolympia.com

Web:     www.FrancineViola.com





Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Francine.... anything that reduces taxes of any kind is a good thing in my book. Your sales tax is pretty hefty compared to what we have in NC and SC.

Jan 09, 2020 01:31 PM
Francine Viola

I agree Nina Hollander - we don't have an income tax so I guess that's how the powers-that-be can justify this, but it is a nice relief for most sellers in my county.

Jan 09, 2020 03:44 PM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Great to see a lowering in a tax; it doesn't often happen that way!

Jan 09, 2020 01:54 PM
Francine Viola

I know, right?! Lottie Kendall - the higher priced sales will feel the pinch but at least the average seller will get a break!

Jan 09, 2020 03:42 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Francine - good news like this needs to be spread.  

Jan 10, 2020 03:15 AM