California Property Transfer Tax

California Property Transfer Tax

What is property transfer tax in California?

While in Canada the buyer usually pays this tax, in California, it’s the opposite! However, if you want to make your offer stand out, it doesn’t hurt to put paying the transfer tax on 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

Exceptions to this tax act include “writings to secure debt” such as mortgages, deeds of trust, reverse mortgages, and even installment sale contracts.

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.

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

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