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“Excise tax” also referred to as “transfer tax” are taxes imposed by states, counties and municipalities on the transfer of ownership of real estate property. In many states buyers pay excise tax. This is not true for the state of Washington. In Washington sellers pay excise tax, not buyers. Excise tax amounts to 1.78% of the sales price in a real estate transaction.


What happens on the day of closing in WA state? If you’re from an Attorney State like NY or MA, you’re closing happens with the buyer and seller in one room with their attorneys. At the settlement appointment the buyer and seller may sit in the same room, paperwork is signed, keys are handed over and you shake hands. You’ve already walked through the home with a fine tooth comb and made sure the home is still in good condition.


The Seattle real estate market is extremely competitive for buyers. When you find the one house you fall in love with sometimes a personal letter to the seller can give you a competitive advantage. The letter not only helps endear you to a seller but it also shows them how bad you want the house. If another buyer hasn’t written a letter you may come across as wanting the house more than the next buyer and this might be what convinces a seller to choose you. All the same, if another buyer has outbid you but you submitted a heartfelt letter that touched the sellers they might come back and give you the opportunity to price match the highest offer. I see this scenario happening often.


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