Selling a House for Recreational Use

Selling a home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has tax implications that both buyers and sellers should consider. Understanding these tax consequences can help you make informed decisions and plan for any potential tax liabilities. Click here Here’s an overview of the key tax considerations:

  1. Pennsylvania Realty Transfer Tax:

For Sellers:

As a seller, you are not directly responsible for paying the Pennsylvania Realty Transfer Tax. The buyer typically pays this tax, which is calculated based on the property’s sale price.

However, it’s essential to be aware of this tax, as it indirectly affects you. The tax amount is generally shared between the buyer and seller unless you negotiate otherwise in the sales agreement.

For Buyers:

Buyers in Pennsylvania are responsible for paying the Pennsylvania Realty Transfer Tax, which is typically 1% of the property’s sale price. Some local jurisdictions may impose additional transfer taxes.

Note that first-time homebuyers in Pennsylvania may be eligible for certain exemptions or reductions in the transfer tax. Check with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for details.

  1. Capital Gains Tax:

For Sellers:

Capital gains tax may apply if you’ve made a profit on the sale of your primary residence. In most cases, homeowners can exclude up to $250,000 in capital gains ($500,000 for married couples filing jointly) if they meet certain criteria:

  • You must have owned and used the property as your primary residence for at least two of the last five years.
  • You cannot have claimed the exclusion for another home sale within the past two years.
  • If your profit exceeds these limits, you may be subject to capital gains tax on the excess amount. Consult with a tax professional to determine your specific tax liability.
  1. Local Real Estate Taxes:

For Sellers:

Philadelphia has a local real estate tax, commonly referred to as the “property tax.” The property tax is assessed annually based on the assessed value of the property.

When you sell your home, any unpaid property taxes will typically be prorated between the buyer and seller at closing. The buyer assumes responsibility for paying property taxes from the date of closing.


It’s crucial to consult with a qualified tax professional or accountant when selling a home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tax laws can be complex and subject to change, and a professional can provide personalized advice based on your specific financial situation and the details of your home sale. Proper planning can help you minimize tax liabilities and ensure compliance with all relevant tax regulations. Learn more here