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What is property transfer tax in California?

While in Canada this tax is traditionally paid for by the buyer, in California, it’s the opposite! However, if you want an edge on other buyers, it doesn’t hurt to add paying the transfer tax to the table.

Because of California’s Documentary Transfer Tax Act, counties and cities can collect tax on documents transferring real estate.

So, taxable transactions include:

  • Transfer of fee
  • Right to purchase or agreement for sale
  • Lease or lease modification agreements
  • Life estate
  • Foreclosure

Some exceptions to this tax act are “writing to secure debt” such as mortgages, deeds of trust, reverse mortgages, and even installment sale contracts.

Ask one of our experts to see if you qualify for exemptions or refunds

How Is This Transfer Tax Calculated?

The amount that California property transfer tax is often calculated by is $1.10 per $1,000 of property value. This amount could be more, however, if the property is located in a charter city.

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