How much are Sellers’ Closing Costs to Sell a Home in Oregon?

sellers closing costs to sell a home

The seller pays for the title insurance closing cost.

A home seller has to pay for the title insurance cost, title insurance being that policy purchased to protect the buyer from a false or hidden seller. Title insurance covers the passing of ownership to the buyer and by Oregon state law, is paid for by the seller. Title insurance rates change, but a rough estimate for today is about $1350 for a $500,000 home. The price goes down if the home sales price is less and up if it is more. It is my understanding based on industry experience that this title insurance cost cannot be passed on to the buyer.

The seller pays for half of the escrow closing cost.

In addition to paying for title insurance, the seller typically pays for half of the escrow cost and the buyer pays for the other half. An example rate for today would be an $850 escrow fee to the seller for a $500,000 home. The buyer would also be paying $850, but separately. It is my understanding that the buyer could force the seller to pay for all of the escrow closing costs, but this is basically unheard of. Traditionally everyone in Oregon splits it down the middle. Here is a current escrow formula that is subject to change = Escrow Fee is $1 per $1000 plus $1200 split 50/50 between buyer and seller.

The seller pays a closing cost fee to close out each lien on the home.

A mortgage is a lien, but there could be a number of other types of liens on a home. The seller has to pay about $200 a lien to get them removed. So someone with a first and second mortgage and a home equity line on their home would pay $600 in closing costs to get all three liens released prior to close.

The seller pays the local government to record the sale.

Right now the typical fee for this is $25 per tax lot. So if the seller had a home for sale that included an extra parcel it would be $50 to record the sale with the local county.

A seller in Washington County gets to pay extra closing costs.

Washington County has a home sales tax they call a “transfer tax” that isn’t talked about much. The current rate is $1 per $1000 of the sale price split 50/50 between the buyer and seller. So the closing cost for the seller to Washington County for a $500,000 home would be $250.

The seller can also choose to pay the buyer’s closing costs.

Why would a seller do that? I wrote an entire article to answer this question here, including the risks and rewards to doing so. This cost could be anywhere from $1 to over $10,000 – it depends solely on what the buyer and seller negotiated on the home sales contract.

Example Seller Closing Costs Chart

$500,000 Home ExampleSeller Pays
Title Insurance$1350
Half of Escrow$850
To close out one lien (mortgage)$200
To record one tax lot as sold$25
Total: $2425
If they live in Washington County$2675
And if they pay $5000 of buyer’s closing costs$7675

Sellers typically pay closing costs out of their equity.

The title / escrow company pays off all the liens, prorates property taxes and insurance costs, orders title insurance, opens escrow, performs a title search to look for liens and to look for ownership, taking in the buyer’s money to purchase the home, and runs all the balance sheets for both sides. Basically the title company will subtract all of the sellers’ closing costs from their equity and give them a check or send a wire for all that remains after their liens, bills (like property taxes and HOA fees), and closing costs are paid off.

Typically the seller pays both the sellers’ and the buyers’ agent.

This comes out of the sellers’ balance sheet as well prior to close, depending on a listing contract. We charge a max. of 4.25% commission to sell and back it up with a cancel anytime policy for no charge. We never charge any fees, only the commission if we sell. When selling we get 2% commission and give 2.5% to the buyers’ agent. For a full breakdown of everything we provide and charge visit our top 1% seller’s agent page and contact us today!

September 11, 2020

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.25% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.