What is a Recording Fee?

A recording fee is the cost of making a public record of a real estate transaction.

How Does a Recording Fee Work?

Let's say John Doe buys a house from Jane Smith for $300,000 on October 1. At the closing of the transaction, John pays his lender a $50 recording fee. The lender gives the money to the county, which keeps a copy of the deed, the details of the transaction, and the names of the owners. All of this information is public record in most parts of the country, meaning that the general public can access the data.

Why Does a Recording Fee Matter?

Recording fees are often part of the closing costs of a mortgage and vary with the municipality involved in the transaction. Making public record of real estate transactions ensures that the public is able to determine who owns various properties. These public records also make it possible for title insurers to search the records on a property and see the progression of ownership of a particular parcel.