Buyer and Seller Closing Costs in San Francisco

Closing Costs In San Francisco

How buyers and sellers in San Francisco split the closing costs pertinent to the sale of real estate is ultimately decided in the purchase contract itself, but this list details how they are typically split in San Francisco County.

Very generally speaking, a buyer can expect that closing costs will run anywhere from 1% to 3% of the purchase price, the major variable being the loan points charged, if any, by their lender. Other than loan-related fees, the big costs for buyers are for escrow fees and title insurance, home inspections, the first year of hazard insurance and property tax pro-rations, if any.

For sellers, closing costs usually run in the range of 6% to 8% of the sales price, not including loan pay-off and any home preparation or repair costs. Typically, the largest seller costs are brokerage commissions and transfer taxes.

Here is the standard clause governing San Francisco closing costs in the SFAR purchase contract (Revise date 04/20). Again, buyer and seller can agree to change how these costs are divided.

“PRORATIONS AND EXPENSES. The following shall be paid current and then prorated between Buyer and Seller as of COE: real property taxes (based upon the latest information available regarding the assessed value of the Property and the applicable tax rate); bonds and assessments; Homeowners’ Association (“HOA”) dues and assessments; interest on any loan(s) secured by the Property assumed by Buyer; premiums for any insurance on the Property assumed by Buyer; rents; and operating expenses. Buyer shall pay the escrow fee, title insurance premiums, any community enhancement fee, and any prepayment penalty or other fees or charges imposed by lenders for loans being paid off through escrow. Unless specified in this Contract, all other prorations and expenses shall be paid by either Buyer or Seller in accordance with local custom. Buyer and Seller understand that the Property will be reassessed upon change of ownership. Supplemental tax bills will be sent to Buyer which will reflect a change in property taxes based on the Purchase Price becoming the new assessed value. Any tax bills issued after COE, for periods of time before COE, shall be paid by Seller.”

The information below is from the website of the San Francisco Assessor’s office, as of April 2020:


After a property transfers, State law (Proposition 13, passed in 1978) requires the Assessor’s Office to set a new assessed value for your property. This value, called the assessed value, should reflect the market value of the property as of the date of transfer. However, it takes time for our office to analyze market data to determine the fair market value. By the time we value your property for reassessment and update our records, property tax bills may already be calculated based on the prior assessed values. Therefore, supplemental tax bills are issued to “catch up” on those taxes.

Please also make note of the fact that supplemental tax bills may not be paid during closing or by the lender, if you have established an impound account. Please contact your lender, or loan servicing entity to understand the terms of your financial responsibilities. More on SF property tax here.


If entire value or consideration is:

More than $100 but less than or equal to $250,000, the tax rate is $2.50 for each $500 or portion thereof;

More than $250,000 but less than $1,000,000, the tax rate is $3.40 for each $500 or portion thereof;

$1,000,000 or more but less than $5,000,000, the tax rate is $3.75 for each $500 or portion thereof;

$5,000,000 or more but less than $10,000,000, the tax rate is $11.25 for each $500 or portion thereof;

$10,000,000 or more but less than $25,000,000, the tax rate is $13.75 for each $500 or portion thereof;

$25,000,000 or more, the tax rate is $15.00 for each $500 or portion thereof.


Need an estimate for your transfer tax? Just enter the consideration paid for your property below

Transfer tax rate for each $500 or portion thereof:

Estimated Transfer Tax: 

For more information see our seller and buyer resources.

Feel free to connect us to anyone you know who has  questions about real estate in general. If we can’t help them, we know someone who can. Call us at 415-735-5867 for a no-obligation consultation. You can also email us at

April 9, 2020
Buying a Home , Selling a Home
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