Selling a House in Delaware? You’re on the Hook for These 9 Closing Costs and More

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As a seller, your home sale price and proceeds are very different numbers. You’ll need to subtract your closing costs to determine how much money you’ll walk away with after the sale. So, what are closing costs in Delaware?

In Delaware, sellers typically pay 6% to 10% of the home’s sale price in closing costs. It’s customary for the seller to pay for closing costs like title search, title insurance, and transfer taxes.

We’ll break down seller closing costs with insight from Peggy Centrella, a top Delaware real estate agent ranked in the top 5% of real estate agents in her market area. Trust us — you’ll want a heads up on these profit deductions, so you don’t get sticker shock when viewing your settlement statement at the end of the sale.

A seller reviewing their closing costs in Delaware.
Source: (Sebastian Herrmann / Unsplash)

1. Loan payoff amount

You must pay off your mortgage before you can transfer the title to a new owner. Loan payoff includes the remaining principal and interest owed up until closing.

2. Property taxes

Delaware has one of the lowest median property tax rates in the country. Property tax rates vary by tax districts within the counties. For a general overview, here are the average property tax rates for each county:

  • New Castle County: 0.74%; see the tax rate for your district here
  • Kent County: 0.51%; see the tax rate for your district here
  • Sussex County: 0.34%; see the tax rate for your district here

3. Reconveyance fee

Once you’ve paid the mortgage in full, the lender sends you a reconveyance deed as proof. The seller is responsible for paying the reconveyance fee to obtain this official document. Reconveyance fees vary widely, but you can expect to pay in the range of $55 to $65.

4. Reconveyance recording fee

You need to file the reconveyance deed with the county recording office. In Delaware, the seller and buyer negotiate to determine who will cover this fee. Recording fees vary by county:

  • Kent County: $36 document fee, plus $10 per page, plus $5 per each tax parcel number, and an additional $40.00 if non-conforming
  • Sussex County: $30 document surcharge fee, plus $9 per page, plus $1 maintenance fee
A person calculating the closing costs for sellers in Delaware.
Source: (Zoomik / Shutterstock)5. Realty transfer tax

5. Realty transfer tax

In Delaware, the seller and buyer must pay transfer taxes on the home sale to the county and the state.

In 2017, Delaware raised the state realty transfer tax from 1.5% to 2.5% for property located in counties and municipalities that impose a local realty transfer tax. For property located in areas that do not charge a local realty transfer tax, the state tax is 3%.

Local county realty transfer taxes vary as follows:

It’s customary for the buyer and seller to split the cost of transfer taxes. As a seller, you’re responsible for paying 1.5% to 2% of the home sale price in realty transfer taxes, depending on your local tax rate.

6. Real estate agent commission

The national average real estate agent commission is 5.8% of the sales price and covers both the listing agent’s and the buyer’s agent fees. Traditionally, the seller pays for both agents’ commissions, though the buyer brings the money to the table.

To estimate how much commission will be for your sale, plug your home’s sale price into HomeLight’s Real Estate Agent Commission Calculator.

7. Attorney fees

Closing costs in Delaware always include attorney fees, as the state requires a lawyer for closing. Your closing attorney manages the title transfer and reviews closing documents.

Expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500 as a flat fee for closing; Centrella estimates most sellers pay $450 to $550 on average.

8. HOA dues/condo association fees

The seller must pay any outstanding homeowner’s association dues or condo association fees.  These dues are usually prorated according to the time of the sale.

HOA dues vary considerably depending on the location, size of the home, and community amenities. In Delaware, a seller must provide their buyer with complete HOA documentation if their community charges more than $500 per month. The required documentation includes:

  • Bylaws
  • Code of Regulations
  • Current operating budget
  • Most recent audit
  • Declaration and Amendments

Your HOA may charge you an administrative fee for supplying these documents.

A small recently sold house that sellers will pay closing costs on in Delaware.
Source: (Pixelbliss / Shutterstock)

9. Seller concessions

Sellers may owe money at closing for financing concessions they agreed to pay for during the negotiation process to help close the sale. Examples of concessions include cash to cover closing costs, repairs, and home warranties.

One of the most common seller concessions is repair credits. When a buyer includes a home inspection contingency in their offer, they can leave the deal with their earnest money intact if the seller refuses to address repairs the home inspector deems necessary. Instead of tending to the repairs, sellers can offer repair credits — cash to cover the cost of needed repairs —to the buyer at closing.

Centrella notes that in a seller’s market, repair credits are less common. And in a hot seller’s market, buyers may waive home inspections entirely to make their offer more desirable than the competition’s.

You may be on the hook for additional closing costs

While these are a seller’s typical closing costs in Delaware, it’s important to remember that many closing costs are negotiable. Your buyer may negotiate for you to cover closing costs they would customarily pay for and vice versa. Work with your agent to ensure you’re paying for the least amount of closing costs possible without jeopardizing your sale.

DISCLAIMER: This article provides an estimate of a seller’s closing costs that is meant for educational and research purposes only; our calculation is not a guarantee.

Header Image Source: (Real Window Creative / Shutterstock)