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PDFWAC 458-61A-110

Relocation service—Two-deed process.

(1) Introduction. The real estate excise tax applies to property transfers involving the two-deed process or delivery of a deed, blank as to the grantee, but otherwise complete.
(2) Delivery to third party. The subsequent delivery of the deed to a third person named as grantee for consideration is also a taxable sale.
(3) Examples. The following examples identify a number of facts and then state a conclusion. These examples are provided as a general guide. The status of each situation must be determined after a review of all of the facts and circumstances.
(a) Bob lists his house with a realtor under an agreement that if the house does not sell within four months, the realtor will purchase the house from Bob at the agreed price. Bob intends to purchase a house listed with that realtor and needs the funds from the sale of his house to use as a payment for the new house. Bob's house does not sell within the four-month period so the realtor purchases Bob's house. Bob executes a blank deed and gives it to the realtor, authorizing the realtor to insert the grantee's name when the realtor eventually resells the house. Real estate excise tax is due on both transfers. Bob owes real estate excise tax on the selling price of the house at the time he transfers the house to the realtor. The realtor owes real estate excise tax on the selling price of the house upon sale to the final buyer.
(b) PSP Corporation contracts with a relocation company to handle the sale of homes for its employees that are relocating. The employee transfers the property to the relocation company. The relocation company delivers the deed to an escrow company who holds the deed until the relocation company finds a buyer. Real estate excise tax is due on both transfers. Tax is due when the employee transfers the deed to the relocation company. Real estate excise tax is due on the second transfer when the relocation company transfers the property to the buyer.
(4) Transactions involving only a single deed. In the event the transactions are accomplished by one deed, the county may require documentation confirming the date of sale of each transaction. The documentation may include a copy of the relocation contract, copy of the settlement statement(s), etc. Even though there is only one deed, two taxable transactions have occurred, and real estate excise tax is due on both.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300, 82.01.060(2), and 82.45.150. WSR 05-23-093, § 458-61A-110, filed 11/16/05, effective 12/17/05.]
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