Closing cost questions
A quick question regarding purchasing a home in St Thomas. Who usually pays the Deed Prep and Tax Stamps? I know in the states it's usually the seller and all things are negotiable but was wondering whats the local trend.
We just closed on our home in STX and the seller paid.
It depends on the terms of the contract.
If the listing report has the term "buyer pays stamp tax" and you accept as such when you write an offer then you pay but it is usually the seller.
If they want Buyer to pay Stamp Tax, it can be a negotiable matter. There is a trend is to request Buyer pays the Stamp or split (here in STT) but it must be written into contract and accepted by purchaser(s) as it is stated openly on the MLS report when viewing the property.
Here's a quote from a local contract:
This is a normal sales contract clause.
"Seller shall pay the costs of preparing the deed, recording any mortgage releases, securing the necessary attests and tax certificates, and affixing the transfer tax stamps on the deed. Real estate taxes, insurance, utility expenses, association assessments and dues, rent and/or security deposits, if any, shall be prorated to the date of Closing between Seller and Buyer. Unless otherwise indicated in Paragraph 15, adjustments for real property taxes shall be based upon the most recent tax bill available. All expenses of obtaining financing, preparing loan documents, installment sales contracts, new surveys, appraisals, inspections, title examinations, title insurance, and the recording fees of the deed and any purchase money mortgage shall be paid by the Buyer. Each party shall pay its own attorney’s fees."
Thanks for the replies. Do any of you know the % of the sale price for this tax?
All real property transactions require a 2% to 3.5% government transfer tax (stamp tax) customarily paid by the seller; all property transactions over $350,000 require a 2.5% government transfer tax. For property transactions over $1,000,000, that rate goes to 3%. Recording fees are approximately $1.00/$1000.00 of the transaction value and paid for by the Buyer
from the recorder of deeds web page; https://gov.propertyinfo.com/us-virginislands/General_Info.asp
Overview of the Recorder of Deeds
The duties of the District Recorder of Deeds are described in Title 33, Chapter 7 Section 121, Section 126 through Section 129 of the Virgin Islands Code.
Requirements for the recording of a deed are the original deed, duly signed, acknowledged and witnessed, attestation at the Cadastral Section of the Tax Assessor's Office, Tax Certification - Department of Finance, Stamp taxes (2% or greater of value or consideration) and Recording Fees. Documents transmitted to the Recorder of Deeds with proper recording fees are date-stamped when received and kept for processing. Upon completion, documents are returned to customers by mail or held for pick up. The complete process takes approximately one (1) week.
Documents drawn up or executed in the Virgin Islands shall be stamped within thirty (30) days from the date of the document (Title 33, Section 126).
Documents executed or drawn up outside the Virgin Islands shall be stamped within thirty (30) days from the date of arrival within the Virgin Islands. Arrival date shall be endorsed on the document and the date verified by affidavit (Title 33, Section 127).
Exemption from stamp taxes shall apply to a transfer of title regarding -- (Title 33, Section 128)
Corrections to provide or release security for a debt or obligation to a deed previously recorded
Sale of property for delinquent taxes
Partition of real property
Deeds given pursuant to mergers, dissolution or consolidations
To a nonprofit organization if property qualifies for tax exemptions
Husband and wife, parent and children, etc
The penalty for any document not stamped within the proper time is twice the stamp tax not to exceed $100 (Title 33, Section 129).
Administrative process - Penalties can be appealed to the Commissioner of Finance who has the authority to waive penalties as prescribed by Title 33, Section 129.
Title 28 Chapter 7 Subsection 121 Virgin Islands Code specifies that documents affecting real property, which are required or submitted to be recorded shall be recorded in the judicial division in which the property is located. If a document affects real property in both Judicial Divisions, it shall be recorded in both offices. When a document is presented for recording, it should meet the recording requirements of the Territory. Unless proof in writing is submitted that all property taxes due have been paid relative to the real property being conveyed, no deed shall be recorded by the Recorder of Deeds. Such proof shall be obtained from the Department of Finance.
Example: Adequately identified grantor(s) and grantee(s) with addresses (mailing address for grantee(s) is required), proper legal description of real property being transferred, signed, dated, notarized, two witnesses if notarized in the Virgin Islands and one if notarized in the United States or what is applicable in that state. Once those items are in order, fees will be charged and the document will be accepted for recording.