What are deed recording fees? 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!


Posted by Mike Ciucci on


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Thanks for the info! I am studying for my RE exam and never clearly understood deed stamps until i read your post. Refreshing to have clear explanations!

Posted by Joanne Reynolds on Sunday, March 8th, 2015 at 9:56am

Thanks for the clear explaination! Kudos

Posted by Anita on Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 at 3:58am

So, I did not actually receive the amount I sold the home for, so why do you charge me hundreds of dollars more than I actually received? That process is so wrong, SC should only be allowed to charge tax on the amount received after "payoff" of the mortgage. Why should an old woman, age 65, be penalized for buying a home and selling it so she can downsize to buy groceries??? Let the Investors pay this, not burden old women trying to live on a pension. Please explain it to me, I lost a lot of grocery money for WHAT??

Posted by Ms. Nancy Reid on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 at 7:14pm

Thanks, I'm trying to get into the delinquent tax sales and I did not know what deed stamps and recordings were until you explained in your post. I've learned being that you are responsible for the deed stamps and other fees it's something else to think about before jumping into this situation.

Posted by Taylor on Friday, February 10th, 2017 at 2:58pm

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