When you sell your property at closing in South Carolina, the sellers are responsible for their own set of closing costs. Typically, the sellers’ largest portion of closing costs at closing are Realtor commissions, any buyer closing costs that the sellers are willing to pay for, and deed stamps. When I explain this to most sellers, the response I get is, “Great. What are deed stamps?”
A deed recording fee is just that. It is a “fee that is charged to enter into the public record the deed and documents relative to the transfer of title to a piece of property”. Deed stamps are paid by the seller at closing, in the amount of $3.70 per $1,000 of real estate sold. So if you sell at $300K house, you owe $1,110 in deed stamps.
The deed stamps are split up the following way: The State gets $2.60 and it splits it up this way: 10 cents goes to the Heritage Trust Fund, 40 cents goes SC Housing Trust Fund, 50 cents goes to the Conservation Land Bank, and the remaining $1.60 goes into the State General Fund. The state portion of the fee, as you can see, helps protect and preserve historical sites, provide affordable housing grants, conservation of green space, and helps meet the general obligations of the state.
Each County gets $1.10 to help pay for the operation and administration of each local deed office. The little secret that most counties won't tell you is that the deed stamps generate millions in surplus dollars that are put in the general fund of the county. These surplus dollars are not earmarked for any particular purpose.
Most people are quite amazed to find that they are contributing so much to a variety of efforts at the state and local level!
Mike Ciucci specializes in the Charleston SC real estate market. He has been a Charleston realtor for over 15 years, focusing on quality and attention to detail his clients have come to expect.