San Mateo Closing Costs: Breakdown for Buyers & Sellers (2022)

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How Much Are Closing Costs in San Mateo?

The simple answer is that closing costs in San Mateo are typically 1-3% for buyers and 4-7% for sellers. The difference comes from the fact that sellers usually pay realtor commissions. 

Buyers pay closing costs to the mortgage company for loan fees, but sellers cover transfer taxes and title costs.

Estimated Buyer Closing Costs

Property CostBuyer Closing CostsPrepaid Interest and EscrowTotal Upfront Costs (w/ 20% Down Payment)

Estimated Seller Closing Costs

Property CostSeller Closing Costs
What’s Included in Closing Costs for Sellers

What’s Included in Closing Costs for Sellers?

As stated, closing costs are usually 4-7% of the overall property cost. In San Mateo County, there is a seller transfer tax of $1.10 per thousand dollars of transferred property value. In addition, there are other minor fees, like a mobile notary fee of around $200. Sometimes there is a recording fee. 

However, you will not be responsible to cover these costs out of pocket at closing. Instead, they will be deducted from the sale price.

Typical closing costs for sellers may include:

  • Agents’ commissions
  • Transfer taxes or recording fees
  • Loan payoff costs
  • Title insurance
  • Escrow and closing fees
  • Prorated property taxes
  • Credits toward closing costs
  • Attorney fees
Seller Closing CostTypical FeeCost for a $1,298,500 Home
Title Service and Settlement Fees0.32%$4,155
Owner's Title Insurance0.37%$4,804
Transfer Tax0.11%$1,428
Recording Fees0.03%$390
Property TaxesVariesVaries

What’s Included in Closing Costs for Buyers?

What do buyers pay? Closing costs for buyers can run about 1 to 3% of the purchase price, including any commission. Some of the bigger costs for buyers may include:

  • A loan amount origination fee
  • Escrow fees
  • Title insurance
  • Home inspections
  • Home appraisal fee
  • Taxes on the money you’ve borrowed for your home loan
  • Private mortgage insurance (with down payment less than 20% of the purchase price)
  • Discount points, or mortgage points (fees paid right to the mortgage lender in exchange for a lower interest rate)
  • Document recording fees for the deed and mortgage
  • Commission
Buyer Closing CostTypical Fee for a $1,298,500 Home
Loan Application Fee$300
Origination Fee1% ($12,985)
Appraisal Fee$375
Wire Transfer Fee$30
Home Inspection Fee$400
Credit Report$25
Survey Fee (Optional)$500
Lender's Title Insurance$1,000
Property TaxesVaries

Buyer vs. Seller Closing Costs

The table below provides general information on how closing costs are split and shared between the buyer and seller.

Closing CostWho Pays?Typical Fee
Property TaxesBothVaries
Mortgage Balance PayoffSellerVaries
Notary FeesBuyer$15
HOA Transfer FeeSellerLess than $1,000
One-Year Home WarrantySeller$1,000
Termite InspectionSeller$50 to $100
Natural Hazard Disclosure ReportSeller$50 to $150
Lien Release Document FeeSeller$25

How To Reduce Closing Costs in San Mateo

There’s more wiggle room to reduce closing costs than you might expect. First-time home buyers and sellers may not know that there are several services that you choose. By shopping around, you can save a decent amount of money:

  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit reporting fees
  • Flood determination fees
  • Tax monitoring and tax status research fees

Buyers especially can reduce closing costs in San Mateo by following these steps:

  • Knowing where to find the savings
  • Comparing the “Loan Estimate” forms of lenders
  • Negotiating lender fees
  • Shopping around for title and settlement services
  • Negotiating with sellers to pay some of the closing costs
  • Arranging with a “Zero-closing costs” mortgage
  • Signing mortgage loan papers at or near the end of the month
  • Discovering discounts and rebates

By closing near the end of the month, you save on your daily prepaid interest, which begins accruing on your closing date.


The Real Key to Reducing Closing Costs

Finally, there’s a simple fact that buyers can easily overlook. The very best way to reduce buyer closing costs is to negotiate a lower sales price. Obviously, this is also true for sellers, but it makes no sense. It’s like negotiating a lower salary to lessen income taxes.

You can spend days trying to save pennies by shopping around for the most cost-effective services. But a real estate agent with excellent negotiation tactics can often outperform your efforts by a mile. 

Here’s the rub. The lower the sales price of a property, the lower the agent’s commissions. Of course, a truly great agent knows that long-term success as a realtor depends more on putting your client’s interest before an increased one-off commission.

The single-best way to reduce buyer closing costs is to find a transparent, client-first real estate agent with powerful negotiation skills. This is especially true given the higher property costs for San Francisco and San Mateo County.

Zero Closing Cost Mortgages

Also called a “no closing cost loan”, these mortgages trade the upfront closing costs of a standard loan for higher interest on your monthly mortgage payments. A zero closing cost mortgage only makes sense if you plan to stay in your home for less than five years. 

The lender covers the closing costs. It is also possible to arrange loans where the lender covers part of the closing costs, rather than the entire payment. 

In addition, you can also refinance your home with this type of loan.

Zero Closing Cost Mortgages

How Team Tapper Can Help

Team Tapper proudly hires San Mateo real estate agents with superior negotiating skills. But perhaps even more importantly, we always put those skills to full use. We know that delighting our clients with radical transparency, not finagling slightly higher commissions, is the key to thriving. 

We would love the opportunity to discover your new San Mateo County or San Francisco nest home. It would be a privilege to help create a wonderful new future for you.

San Mateo Closing Costs - Breakdown for Buyers & Sellers (2022)

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