Buy Alexandria Real Estate: Seller's Settlement Costs in Virginia

Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Blog

Seller's Settlement Costs in Virginia

What are the closing costs paid by the seller? 

An Explanation for Northern Virginia sellers 

Usually when one discusses closing costs in connection with the purchase and sale of a home they are referring to the costs incurred by a purchaser.  These costs include items such as lender's fees, money to establish escrow accounts for taxes and insurance, title charges, title insurance, and government recording fees.  Settlement costs can also include a survey of the property, pest inspection, appraisal, and other fees. 

For a detailed explanation of the settlement costs incurred by purchasers in Virginia, please read my post:

Purchaser's Closing Costs in Virginia.

Sellers of a home also incur some settlement costs, most prominently the fee paid to the real estate broker for selling the home.  In today's current Northern Virginia buyer's market, it is often typical for many purchasers to ask the seller of a home to pay a portion or all of their closing costs.  Of course, this request leads to negotiation.

Here's a breakdown of seller's settlement closing costs in Virginia:

Total Sales/Broker's Commission

CommissionThe first category of closing costs comprises the broker's fees for marketing and selling the home.  There is no standard or set fee for selling a home.  Do not let any REALTOR tell you differently. 

Commission:  This fee will be determined when you first hire a listing agent to sell your home and sign a listing agreement with the brokerage.  The commission is normally represented as a percentage of the sales price, but it could be a flat fee.  Your listing agent, by placing your home on the Multiple Listing Service, then enters into a contract with all buyer's agents who show your home, agreeing to split his or her commission with the cooperating agent.  At settlement you will see these fees delineated at the top of page 2 of the important HUD-1 Settlement Statement.

Transaction Fee:  Some agents and brokerages will charge you a transaction fee, or administrative fee, above and beyond the commission.  I DO NOT.  PERIOD.

Title & Recording Charges

Virginia home sellers have several fees that they will be charged by the settlement company or closing attorney as well as a Grantor's Tax.

Settlement Fee:  This fee can vary with different settlement companies but is typically between $250 and $350.  This is the fee paid to the settlement company for their services in performing the closing on the property.

Document Preparation:  This covers the service of preparing the deed to transfer the property from the seller to the purchaser.  This can cost between about $150-$350.

Release Process/Delivery Fee:  This fee is paid to the settlement company to allow the liens on your property (usually just your mortgage) to be released.  The fee is typically between $150-$200.

Grantor's Tax:  This fee is paid by all sellers in Virginia when they transfer a home.  The fee is equivalent to 0.1% of the sales price.

Additional Settlement Charges


Termite InspectionPest Inspection:  Usually costs $30-$60.  Often the purchaser will pay for this, but sometimes it is left up to the seller.

Archiving/Scanning:  Some settlement companies will archive and/or scan all the closing documents to keep on file for future reference and charge a nominal fee for this service.




Let's take a look at an example of two different sales and what the seller's costs would be:


Arlington Condo

McLean Townhouse

Sales Price $450,000 $850,000
Total Commission $27,000 $51,000
Transaction Fee N/A N/A
Settlement Fee $255 $255
Document Preparation $150 $150
R-5 Form Processing Fee $10 $10
Release Process/Delivery Fee $175 $175
Grantor's Tax $450 $850
Pest Inspection $50 $50
Archiving/Scanning $20 $20
TOTAL CLOSING COSTS $28,110 $52,510

Ready to sell your home?



Contact Brian Block, REALTOR/Attorney: Licensed in Virginia & WashingtonD.C. (703) 626-0715  (703) 626-0715 . If you are interested in selling a property in Northern Virginia including Arlington County, Alexandria City, Annandale, Burke, D.C., Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Lorton, Springfield, Washington D.C., contact Brian today.


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Comment balloon 12 commentsBrian Block • September 07 2008 02:15PM


One of the things I love about Evers is no hated transaction fee!  I never had the nerve to pass it onto clients and it annoyed me to have to absorb it!  Yikes!  And good information.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago


This further reinforces the distinct 'local' nature of real's amazing how different regions have different customs...even closing fees!!! Thanks,   Fran

Posted by Fran Gaspari, "The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ (Patriot Land Transfer, Inc.) over 9 years ago

PAT:  I really don't like transaction fees either.  While my brokerage charges a nominal fee, I don't pass that on to clients.

Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) over 9 years ago

FRAN:  Thanks for your comments.  So what are the big differences up in your neck of the woods?

Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) over 9 years ago

Brian, these costs are very similar to North Carolina's settlement costs. Some companys charge a transaction fee, most do not. I started with a company that charged $150, but they made the AGENT pay for it!  (the buyers side & the sellers side! -I don't work there anymore!)

Since we often see buyer's coming from other parts of the country, thanks for letting us know what the settlement costs are in VA.


Posted by Linda Jandura, Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist (Raleigh Cary Realty) over 9 years ago

Brian- Only disclaimer I would add if the property assessment are higher than the sales price the seller has to pay grantor tax accordingly. Otherwise its a simple math that the seller should be well informed off when they are making their decision on a contract.

Posted by Ritu Desai, Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949 (Samson Properties) over 9 years ago

Great info, Brian!

Posted by Tchaka Owen (Galleria International Realty) over 9 years ago

might be an old post; but helpful when I needed to check some fees.  Thanks Google  LOL

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) almost 8 years ago

In the text you say the grantor's tax is 1% of the sales price, but, in the chart I don't think $450 is 1% of 450,000 or that $850 is 1% of 850,000. There seems to be a zero missing.


Posted by Kim Davis (available for employment) almost 7 years ago

I wood like to fine out how to determine the sellers cost on a VA loan. Are you able to help with this? Thanks

Posted by Pete Leavitt almost 6 years ago

This is useful--thanks for putting it up here.

Posted by Rick Phillips, I care about you and your transaction. (Frankly Realty - Old Town) over 5 years ago

Closing costs are quite different and much higher in Los Angeles county( yes, even in the same state, different counties have some difference in the closing process and customs who pays for what)

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA (Barcode Properties) over 1 year ago