What are the costs associated with selling your home in Massachusetts? Many home owners are unaware that there is a tax associated with the sale of their home. Unfortunately, this item is not negotiable. In Massachusetts, this tax is known as the Massachusetts tax stamp. In most areas, the tax stamp is $4.56 per thousand dollars of the sales price for your home. For example, if you are selling your home for $300,000, then the tax stamp would be 300 X $4.56 or $1368.00. In other areas of the state the tax stamp may vary so you should check with your local registry of deeds. On Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket there is an additional 2 percent land bank transfer fee on the sales price that goes to the land bank commission. Home sellers in the Navy Yard in Charlestown are responsible to pay 2% of the sales price to the Boston Redevelopment Authority for a land lease. So, it is important to ask a lot of questions and to read the HUD when you buy so you will be aware of the costs when the time comes to sell your home.
OK, so what other costs will you incur besides the real estate commission?
1. Attorney fees. I always recommend to sellers that they should hire an attorney to protect their legal interests. An attorney is able to review offer forms, purchase and sales contracts and attend the closing. There are always issues that may arise during the sales process and attorney can give you legal advice. Real estate professionals are not able to give you legal advice so in my opinion it is always a good idea to hire an attorney.
2. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Fees. In Massachusetts, you need to have your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in good working order but that is not all, you must have the correct type of detector and this depends on the location in the home, so it is important to check with your fire department or your real estate professional so you are sure you have the correct type. The smoke and carbon monoxide laws do change so it is important to be up to date. The fees for this vary by town and city. In Boston, the fees are as high as $150.00 for a multi family but for a single family home or condo the fee is $50.00.
3. Deed. It is the sellers responsibility to have the new deed prepared. Your attorney will do this for you. If you do not have an attorney, then the bank attorney may prepare it for you. The cost of this is usually somewhere between $100.00-$200.00.
4. Title V. Generally, it is the home sellers responsibility to have it inspected and pay for it. The inspection needs to take place within 2 years prior of selling the property. If weather conditions prevent an inspection then it must take place within 6 months after the sale. The cost of this varies.
5. Miscellaneous expenses. Other items you may see on the HUD will include courier charges, mailings, recording fees, mortgage discharge fees and possibly wiring fees.
I think that about covers it. It is always a good idea to know these upfront before you list a property for sale. OK, please let me know if you have any questions!
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