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Three Hidden Costs of Selling Your San Mateo Property

December 11 2018
December 11 2018

Selling your San Mateo home?  These 3 hidden costs may surprise you…


Over the past few years, owners of residential real estate in San Mateo have been selling their properties for record-high prices. These escalating property values have been featured in countless news articles and might have you wondering what your property is worth. Understanding the value of your home will help you make a well-informed decision about selling! This is likely the biggest investment of your life, and you’ll want to be sure you’re making smart decisions.


It’s true that sale prices in San Mateo are very high (as of October 2018 the median sales price in San Mateo, CA is $1,600,000), but they do also come with some expenses that might be totally unexpected. A few of these can be pretty steep. In order to sell your home with as few surprises as possible, you’ll want to be well-informed about the standard seller’s expenses in the city.  Aside from the usual fees, such as broker fees, inspection costs, staging, etc., you’ll want to be prepared for these three major expenses when selling your property in San Mateo.


Hidden Cost #1 San Mateo City Transfer Tax – Customarily split 50%/50% between buyer and seller.


This tax costs $5.00 per $1,000 of the sales price.


*Hidden Cost: If you sell your house for $2,000,000 the buyer and seller will have to split a city transfer tax of $10,000!  This is an expensive tax and one that you shouldn’t be surprised with at closing!


Hidden Cost #2 County Transfer Tax – Customarily Paid by Seller

When selling a property in San Mateo County, a transfer tax is customarily paid by Seller. This transfer tax is $1.10 per $1,000 of the sales price.


*Hidden Cost: A $2,000,000 sale would result in a transfer tax of $2,200 paid by Seller.


Hidden Cost #3 - Miscellaneous Title Fees can easily exceed $450...


Title companies are responsible for closing the transaction. When the title documents are completed, all owners or their Power of Attorneys must sign the closing documents to facilitate the sale. These documents must be notarized.  A notary typically charges around $150 per signing.


Quick Tip – Don’t sign individually, be sure that all Sellers are together when the notary comes to avoid a double or triple charge.


Title Companies may also have to have a courier send the documents back to the title company and/or the buyer’s lender.  This also carries a fee.


Depending on how the Seller wants their proceeds from the sale, a wire fee may be charged as well. If you pick up a cashier’s check rather than accept a wire, you can avoid about a $25 fee. This fee can double or triple if multiple wires are sent for the Seller’s proceeds.



*The above list is not meant to be a complete or exhaustive list of all costs paid by Seller to sell a home in San Mateo.  Many other costs exist (broker fees, inspections, staging, etc.), but we find the above costs to be the most surprising to our sellers.  For a complete list of costs to the seller, please call us and we can provide a detailed outline of all anticipated seller’s costs.


It's important to remember that virtually every cost in real estate is negotiable, but in San Mateo and in San Mateo County, the above costs are all typically paid by the seller.


If you would like to see an honest, confidential, and comprehensive market analysis of your home, don’t hesitate to call or email us today!  We would love to put our experience to work for you.



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