Welcome to Centers and Squares

As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

What Does It Cost To Sell My House In Massachusetts?

Selling a House in MassachusettsIt’s not uncommon for the check you receive at your real estate closing in Massachusetts to seem smaller than you expected.  If you don’t account for the various charges that you’ll pay in addition to the real estate commission, you may be surprised.  Here are some of the miscellaneous costs of selling a home in Massachusetts:

What’s the Transfer Tax in Massachusetts?

This fee, called a tax stamp,  is often unexpected but is one of the costs of selling your house or condo in Massachusetts.  The transfer tax is paid by the seller and the rate is currently $4.56 per $1000 of the sales price.

What Other Miscellaneous Fees and Costs Can I Expect for Selling My Home?

Attorney fees – Massachusetts is what’s sometimes referred to as an “attorney state” – buyers and seller almost always engage attorneys to advise them, represent their interests, and review and prepare the contracts and myriad of legal documents necessary to sell a home in Massachusetts.  Attorneys’ fees vary and will depend on the complexity of the transaction though some attorneys offer a fixed fee.  I’m usually not privy to what buyers or sellers are paying for legal counsel but have seen fees that ranged from$500 to $1500 and more. Consult your attorney about potential costs.

Sellers are required to have the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms tested by the local fire department before the sale closes.  The fire department will provide a smoke certificate that must be provided at the closing. The fee for the inspection and certificate for a single family or condominium ranges from $40 to $50 in Cambridge and nearby towns.  Fees for multi-unit properties will be higher. And if you’re selling a house in the ‘burbs and don’t have city or town sewer than you’ll also need to pay for a Title V septic inspection.

Final Water BillSellers must request a final water reading and pay the final water bill at the closing. Some towns and cities charge for providing the final water reading, Somerville, MA for example, charges $25 to get a final water reading.  If the water bill for your condominium is paid through your condo fee in most cases you will not need to get a final bill.

Special assessments for condos are typically paid by the seller prior to closing.  A 6D certificate indicating that no outstanding charges are due will be issued by your condo association and is required to sell your condo in Massachusetts.  Condo fees will  be prorated with the seller required to pay all condo fees due up until the closing.

Property taxes are also prorated.  If your bill is paid through a date after your closing the extra days’ payments will be refunded on the settlement sheet.  Likewise, if your last tax bill paid covered a period pre-dating the closing date the amount needed to cover property taxes up until your closing will be charged to you.

Other Charges For Selling Your Massachusetts HomeMiscellaneous charges for mailing, filing fees etc will be added to your charges on the settlement sheet.  These charges include overnight mailing, courier services, wiring fees, charges for processing mortgage discharges, and recording fees for recording various documents at the Registry of Deeds.  All told these can easily add up to several hundred dollars.

While typically paid prior to closing, sellers of condos should be aware that condominium management companies have started to charge for providing various forms and documents needed to sell your condo.  Many condo associations rely on their management company to provide the 6D certificate, fill out the condo questionnaire required by the buyer’s lender, and provide copies of budgets, minutes, and condo docs. I’ve seen charges as high as $150 for packages that include all the required documents.

Categories: Seller Info

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