With selling real estate, there is a tax called the transferee tax that is imposed on either the buyer or the seller or both at the real estate closing. This tax is charged to the real estate transaction any time there is a legal need to transferee title. This is an unavoidable fact of life when planning to buy or sell real property.
This transferee tax can be imposed by state of even county municipalities as due upon transfer of deed.
Usually transferee taxes are based on standard amounts per dollar in according to the sale at hand. Normally the tax rate will vary depending on what state and what county within that state that the property is being sold.
Some states will split the tax between state and local municipalities, although there are some exceptions such as California, where it is only a county tax burden and the state imposes no tax.
As far as who pays the tax, it is normally based on what's been done in the past. It seems to have its roots in tradition, with no clear mandate on the buyer or seller. That is why is can become a very important negotiating point in a real estate sale.
And example is in North Carolina, where it is customary there for the seller to pay the tax.
Now Transferee rates can vary from state to state and are based on a standard rate (for example in Ca you might pay in some counties 1.10 per 1000 dollars) while in another California country the tax is 1.00 per 1000.
Another example is Delaware where there is a, 2% tax on value of property unless there is also a local transfer tax; then the maximum rate is 1.5%. In Arizona there is just a flat fee of 2.00 per deed.
In parts of the county where it is less affluent the tax rate may be rated more inexpensively to reflect the area values.
The real estate transferee tax, no matter who must pay, must be paid at the real estate closing. This fee will show up on residential real estate closing transactions on the HUD settlement form. This is not to be confused with capital gains tax related to a sale of real property that unlike being due at the real estate closing is always due at the time you must file you yearly tax.
All in all it is just another tax that must be paid when buying or selling real estate.