Cost to sell | Realtor commission | How to save | Closing cost calculator | FAQs
The average cost to sell a house in Washington State is 7.32% of a home’s final sale price, which includes realtor commission (5.30% of the sale price) and seller closing costs (2.0%).
That means it costs home sellers in the Evergreen State an average of $39,831 to sell a home priced at $552,398 (the average Washington home price).
Keep in mind that realtor commission and closing cost figures vary widely by market
You can also save big by using an agent-matching service to sell your home. For example, Clever Real Estate has negotiated a reduced listing commission of 1.5% for Washington sellers – far lower than the statewide average rate of 2.67%.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the costs of selling a house in Washington, including tips on how to save on your sale, and a calculator to estimate your costs.
Cost of selling a house in Washington State
|Fee type||Average fee||Average cost|
*Costs assume a sale price of $552,398. Numbers are rounded off and may not be 100% precise.
It costs nearly twice as much to sell a house in Washington State compared to the rest of the country.
The table above shows that it costs 7.32% when factoring in realtor commissions and closing costs. That’s higher than the national average of 6.53%.
Given Washington’s relatively high home values, it’s also more expensive to sell on a total cost basis compared to the national average.
|State||Home value||Cost to sell (percent)||Cost to sell (dollars)|
Closing costs in Washington are dramatically higher than in the neighboring states of the Pacific Northwest. Overall home prices in Washington are much higher than in Oregon and Idaho, and the average cost to sell as a percentage of the home price is significantly higher.
As a result, Washington’s average cost to sell in dollars is substantially higher than in Oregon and Idaho. It is also higher than in any other state in the U.S. except Hawaii and nearby California, where homes are even more expensive than in Washington.
Of course, home values range widely across the state, so your selling costs will vary. For example, the median resale price of a home was $880,000 in King County but only $425,400 in Spokane County as of the first quarter, according to the Washington Center for Real Estate Research.
Here’s an example of your potential costs at various price points, including realtor fees and seller closing costs.
|Sale price||Realtor fees (5.30%)||Closing costs (2.0%)||Total cost|
Factors that may impact your Washington home sale costs include:
Typical real estate agent commission in your area
While the statewide average rate is 5.30%, rates may be higher or lower depending on what’s normal in your area.
Your success in negotiating rates
Realtor fees aren’t fixed — they are completely negotiable. You may be able to negotiate a rate lower than what’s typical in your area.
How you find a realtor
You can potentially save thousands in realtor fees by using an agent-matching service like Clever Real Estate to find a realtor. Clever has pre-negotiated a 1.5% listing agent fee with agents in its network.
If you need to pay optional costs
The estimated total cost to sell of 7.32% in Washington does not include costs like home staging, deep cleaning, and pre-listing repairs, which could add thousands more to your home sale costs.
Your negotiated contract
Closing costs are split between the buyer and seller in Washington. Sellers typically pay all commissions, realty transfer fees, recording fees, and prorated property taxes.
Home sellers may also be on the hook for homeowners association (HOA) fees, attorney fees, property appraisal fees, and a mortgage payoff.
Buyers take on most of the other expenses including inspection costs, appraisal costs, due diligence, owner’s title insurance, and buyer closing costs for their mortgage.
Here’s a deeper look at your expected home sale costs.
1. Washington realtor commission (5.30%)
Using a realtor costs Washington home sellers an average of 5.30% of the home’s sale price, paid out at closing. That fee covers both the listing agent’s and the buyer’s agent’s commission.
Your actual cost depends on your home’s value, as it costs much less to sell a $600,000 home compared to a $1 million home, for example.
To determine the current market value of a your home, you can ask a real estate agent for a free comparative market analysis (CMA). Most real estate agents consider it a part of their job to provide a CMA report when you ask about listing your home. (It’s a way for them to show you that they’re knowledgeable about the local market and hopefully earn your future business.)
Below are estimated commission costs based on median home prices for various counties in Washington.
|County||Median sale price||Commission cost|
*Median sale prices as of Q1 2022 according to the Washington Center for Real Estate Research. Commission costs assume an average realtor commission of 5.30%.
Since commission is the single largest home-selling expense in Washington, it’s also your best cost-saving opportunity.
How to save on Washington realtor fees
Here are some tips on how to save money on your home sale.
Use a discount broker
A discount real estate broker is a company that offers sellers a reduced commission fee. The broker’s listing agents charge less than the average rate, such as a 1–2% listing fee vs. the typical 2.5%-3% rate.
Selling at a higher price point leads to even bigger commission savings using a discount broker vs. finding a realtor through traditional sources, like through a personal referral.
For example, Clever offers listing fees of just 1.5%, compared to the average Washington listing commission rate of 2.67%. That could save you around $10,000 on a $600,000 home sale.
Agents from these firms still provide all of the services you’d expect to receive from a traditional realtor, too. The service is free to try with no obligation, so it’s worth starting out here.
» MORE: The Best Discount Brokers for Every Budget
List your home without a realtor
You can avoid paying Washington listing commission entirely by selling without a realtor. That’d save you 2.67% off your home sale.
However, the typical FSBO home sells for about $58,000 less than agent-listed homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. You’ll also be on the hook for all of the tasks normally handled by a real estate professional.
Selling a house FSBO is very rare in Washington, noted Jeff Dickinson, a broker with Seattle-based eXp Realty, in an interview this year. “The biggest challenge with FSBOs is they’re not getting access to the MLS,” he said.
According to Dickinson, the best strategy to fetch a high price is offer review, in which the seller schedules a day to review all the offers on their home, rather than reviewing them as they come in. Selling FSBO means most sellers lack access to good tools to do this.
“You have to have the resources, like access to the MLS, to really get that frenzy and exposure,” Dickinson said. A FSBO seller can list their house on a site like Zillow, but they won’t be able to promote that listing to agents and buyers to generate a bidding war.
Negotiate a lower rate
There’s no law setting a fixed realtor fee in the state or any part of the country, which means you can try to negotiate a lower commission rate with Washington realtors.
Negotiating commission is more likely to work on a high-value property, since the agent will still earn a substantial commission on the home sale, despite the lower rate.
» LEARN: How to choose the right listing agent
2. Closing costs for sellers in Washington (2.0%)
Seller closing costs typically add another cost of 2.0% or more to the home’s final sale price, according to our data. (Closing costs do not include realtor commission.)
Based on the average Washington home value of $552,398, the typical home seller pays $10,554 in closing costs.
Closing costs for sellers in Washington typically include attorney fees, realty transfer fees, recording fees, and prorated property taxes. Sellers usually split escrow fees with the buyer 50/50.
Other fees for sellers could include Homeowners Association (HOA) fees, property appraisal fees, and mortgage payoff and/or prepayment penalties.
Buyers generally handle the survey fee, appraisal fee, title search and insurance costs, and their own attorneys’ fees.
Home buyers and sellers in Washington are not required by law to use an attorney. However, some sellers choose to hire a real estate attorney, especially if the sale has legal complications — such as when there are judgments or liens on the property.
Real estate attorneys are responsible for reviewing all of your contracts and legal documents and protecting you from potential issues that may arise during your sale. Attorneys also provide peace of mind throughout the steps of the transaction by answering any legal questions you may have.
Real estate attorneys charge an average of $288 per hour in Washington, according to legal technology firm Clio.
» LEARN: Do I Need a Lawyer to Sell My House?
The title company or escrow company charges escrow fees for conducting the closing. These fees are typically split 50/50 between the buyer and seller.
The exact fee varies based on the title company and the selling price of the home. For example, Pacific Northwest Title charges escrow fees ranging from $750 to $1,200, depending on the selling price, for homes of up to $2 million. For transactions over $2 million, the company will provide a quote.
The fee is the same for the buyer and seller, so in the example above, the buyer and seller each pay an escrow fee of $750 for a $100,000 home sale.
Real estate excise tax
Washington State imposes a real estate excise tax (REET) upon most sales of real property, including homes. The seller typically pays this tax.
The REET has a state and local portion. The state rate is graduated and depends on the home’s selling price, while the local rate depends on the city or town. The state portion of the REET breaks down as follows:
|Sale price threshold||Tax rate|
|$500,000 or less||1.10%|
|$3,000,000.01 or more||3%|
The local portion of the REET ranges from 0% to 0.75% depending on the location.
For example, a home that sells for $600,000 in Seattle would face a total REET of 1.10% (state) plus 0.5% (local), or $9,600.
The realty transfer fee equates to a total average cost of for a home sale in Washington, our data shows. This is many times the national average cost of .
Washington charges average recording fees of $234, higher than the national average of $0.
Although the price varies for some documents, the standard recording fee in Washington is $203.50 for the first page of a document and $1 for each additional page.
Prorated property taxes
Washington home sellers are required to pay property taxes on the days they’ve owned their home in the calendar year. Taxes are prorated and split between the seller and buyer.
The tax is due at closing. Actual costs depend on your annual taxes, and how many days you live in your home up until the closing date.
Speak with your agent or attorney for more details on what you might owe in prorated taxes.
3. Other potential costs
Home preparation costs
It’s important to stage your home, especially as the hot seller’s market in Washington begins to cool down. But the expense of preparing your home for sale could add thousands more to your total upfront costs.
Home staging costs between $745 to $2,659 on average in the U.S., according to HomeAdvisor. But actual costs vary widely depending on location, the size of the home, and the number of rooms being furnished.
Top Seattle-area home staging companies advertise starting prices that range from $800 to $1,500, according to Thumbtack. If your home needs to be deep cleaned by a professional, expect to spend at least $300 for complete cleaning.
Finally, pre-listing home repairs and improvements could add hundreds, if not thousands more to your budget, depending on how much work your home needs.
Homeowners association dues
You may owe homeowners association (HOA) dues if your home is located in an HOA community. Sellers are typically responsible for covering a prorated amount of their annual membership dues at closing.
If the HOA charges fees to transfer homeownership records to the buyer at closing, the buyer or seller may pay them. Costs vary between communities, but they commonly range from $125 to several hundred dollars.
For example, the Sudden Valley Community Association in Bellingham charges a $125 transfer fee, which is normally paid by the buyer, but it’s up for negotiation between the buyer and seller.
Check with your agent, attorney, or HOA board for more information on what you might owe.
Buyer’s closing costs (seller concessions)
In addition to the costs outlined above, buyers may request that sellers cover some of their closing costs. Seller concessions include anything that the seller gives the buyer to close the deal.
Seller concessions often come in the form of seller credits towards the buyer’s closing costs — 2-3% of the home’s sale price is common — or home warranty policies. However, they can also include compromises that don’t hold monetary value, such as an agreement to close on a date that’s preferable to the buyer.
The annual premium for a home warranty in Washington averages $574 for a single-family home, according to Review Home Warranties. Premiums for townhomes and condos are slightly lower at about $532 and $561, while premiums for multi-family homes average $776.
In Washington, buyers and sellers split the home warranty cost 50/50, according to Great Vancouver Homes.
Pest inspection fee
Termites and other structural pest infestations are a common problem across Washington State.
Inspections generally aren’t required when applying for a home loan in Washington, but many buyers choose to get one. An optional inspection contingency gives homebuyers an “out” in case a pest infestation is found during the inspection.
The cost of a one-time pest inspection and treatment ranges from $250 to $370 in the Seattle metro area, depending on the size of the home and the nature of the pest, according to United Pest Solutions.
Title insurance protects homeowners and lenders from costs associated with title defects or disputes.
Title insurance includes a lender’s policy, which is required when the buyer applies for a mortgage loan and protects the lender’s interest in the property, and an owner’s policy, which is usually optional.
In Washington, the homebuyer is typically responsible for covering the cost of both types of title insurance. However, if the local market favors buyers, a homebuyer may request that the seller pays for this cost.
The cost of a title insurance policy can range from a few hundred dollars to $2,000 or more, according to Sammamish Mortgage. Buyers pay this expense upfront as part of their closing costs unless they can get the seller to cover it.
Capital gains tax
The IRS offers a tax break on capital gains from the sale of your primary residence, as long as you meet certain requirements:
- Single homeowners can deduct up to $250,000 of gains from the sale of their property;
- Married couples can deduct up to $500,000 of gains.
- You must have occupied the property for at least two of the past five years.
- You can also deduct certain repairs and improvements from your home’s cost basis.
» LEARN: How to avoid capital gains on a home sale
Cost of selling a house in Washington calculator
Use our calculator to get a rough estimate of what you might walk away with in your home sale. Change the home sale price and closing costs to fit your particular situation.
For more accurate figures, we recommend finding a local realtor to provide you with a free seller’s net sheet: a personalized document that estimates how much you may earn in your home sale.
Washington State closing costs: FAQs
How much are closing costs for sellers in Washington State?
Washington closing costs typically average more than 7% of a home's final sale price. That figure includes common closing costs, such as escrow fees and the real estate excise tax, as well as realtor commission fees, which often cost sellers more than 5%.
We break down the best ways to save on Washington realtor fees.
Who pays closing costs in Washington?
Buyers and sellers have separate closing costs in Washington. Prorated property taxes are split between both parties. Sellers are usually responsible for paying all commissions, attorney fees, recording fees, and real estate transfer fees.
However, actual costs depend on your location. We recommend you find a realtor to get a seller's net sheet, which breaks down all of your potential home sale costs.
Do buyers or sellers pay realtor fees in Washington?
Sellers usually cover both the buyer's agent and seller's agent commission in Washington, which amounts to over 5% of the home's final sale price. Real estate commission will likely be your single largest home-selling cost. Fortunately, it's negotiable.
What is the cheapest way to sell a house in Washington?
The cheapest way to sell a house is to use an agent matching service like Clever Real Estate, which has pre-negotiated a low listing agent fee with its agents. Clever agents charge a 1.5% listing fee, compared to the national average listing fee of 2.80%. That could save Washington home sellers thousands in realtor fees.
The True Costs of Selling a Home Revealed: What does it really cost to sell a house in the U.S.? We explore all of the common expenses in a home sale, and how you can save thousands.
How to Find a Realtor: Find out how you can connect with a great real estate agent. We help you zero in on the best approach, whether you’re selling or buying.
Seller Net Sheet Guide: Learn how a net sheet can help you estimate your potential home sale proceeds, and how to get one for free.
Negotiating Realtor Commission: Knocking your real estate commission down just one percentage point could save you a ton of money on your home sale.
How to Sell a House Without a Realtor in Washington: Trying to sell a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO) can be tough, but you won’t have to pay a listing commission. Read our guide to find out how.
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