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Closing Customs and Costs in San Francisco Bay Area Counties

August 14, 2008

In the San Francisco Bay Area,┬áthe closing customs vary from county to county. Some cities also assess a city transfer tax in addition to the county transfer tax. In most areas where the city doesn’t assess a city transfer tax, the county rate is $1.10 per $1,000 in property value. The below shows how closing costs and fees are customary divided in the various Bay Area counties.

Santa Clara County

Seller Pays: County Transfer Tax, Escrow Fees, Title Insurance
Buyer Pays: Recording Fees
50/50: City Transfer Taxes (San Jose, Mt. View, and Palo Alto assess a $3.30 per $1,000 city transfer tax) are normally split 50/50

San Mateo County

Seller Pays: County Transfer Tax
Buyer Pays: Recording Fees, Escrow, and Title
50/50: City Transfer Taxes (San Mateo [$5.00 per $1,000]) are normally split 50/50

Alameda County

Seller Pays: County Transfer Tax
Buyer Pays: Recording, Escrow, and Title
50/50: City Transfer Taxes are normally split 50/50. Cities in Alameda County which assess a city transfer tax are (per $1,000): Alameda ($5.40), Berkeley ($15.00), Hayward ($4.50), Oakland ($15.00), San Leandro ($6.00).

San Francisco County

Seller Pays: City and County Transfer Tax (on sales over $1M, the rate is $7.50 per $1,000)
Buyer Pays: Recording, Title, and Insurance

Contra Costa County

Seller Pays: County Transfer Tax
Buyer Pays: Recording, Title, and Escrow Fees
50/50: City Transfer Tax [Richmond - $7.00 per $1,000]

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