A really nice couple I know are going to try to sell their house for-sale-by-owner. They asked me for an approximation of title and escrow fees, so I gave them an estimate. Then I reminded them that as sellers in the state of Washington, they’d need to pay excise tax on the sale of their house. They had moved from Oregon and were dumbfounded. “How much?” they asked me.
Where they live, in Richland, like in most areas of Benton County (except in some of the outlying areas like Finley and Benton City, where it’s less), they’ll pay 1.78% of the selling price in excise tax. Franklin County is also 1.78%, but in the city of Pasco, it’s 1.53%.
The couple is thinking of selling their house for $250,000, so that $4,450 is a pretty significant chunk out of what they thought they’d walk away with.
So, when selling your house here, don’t forget to figure in the excise tax figure, because it can be a doozy, especially if it’s unexpected.