Transfer Taxes

Every time a home is sold, the county and many cities charge a transfer tax. The amount of the transfer tax varies from city to city. The table below shows the transfer taxes in Alameda County as of May 2006.  The taxes are calculated at the rate shown for every $1000 of purchase price.


Tax Rate

Alameda County


Alameda City












San Leandro 




So to figure out how much transfer tax might be charged, let's look at a couple of examples...

1) A home purchased in Hayward for $800,000

                      $800,000 / 1000 = 800
County Tax       800 x $1.10 = $880
City Tax           800 x $4.50 = $3,600
Total Transfer Tax: $880 + 3600 = $4,480

2) A home purchased in Oakland for $800,000

County Tax   800 x $1.10 = $880
City Tax       800 x $15.00 = $12,000
Total Transfer Tax: $880 + $12,000 = $12,880

As you can see, the amount of transfer tax a city charges can dramatically change your costs at close of escrow. Different cities have different customs for whether the seller or the buyer pays these taxes. Sometimes they are split between the buyer and the seller. This is a negotiable item on a residential purchase contract.

The actual taxes you are paying will be itemized on the closing statement you receive from your title company. You will receive an estimated closing statements before you close escrow. It is important to review this statement so you can prepare for closing and question any charges that you don't expect or don't understand.