No, Massachusetts home buyers do not pay taxes on the purchase of real estate; however, homes sellers do pay something called tax stamps.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts derives revenue from the sale of real estate through state excise tax stamps. The tax stamps are typically $4.56 per $1000 of the sales price, although there are a few counties in Massachusetts that charge more. Barnstable County (Cape Cod area) has charged $6.12 per $1000 since July 1, 2009. Dukes County (Martha's Vineyard) and Nantucket County also charge an additional 2 percent land bank fee.
For example, a home sold for $400,000 in most counties would result in the seller paying tax stamps in the amount of $1,824 (400 x $4.56 = $1,824). The tax is paid at the Registry of Deeds in the county where the property is located, and the deed cannot be recorded until the registry confirms the receipt of the tax stamps payment. The amount of the transfer tax is located on the seller's closing disclosure.
In New Hampshire, the buyer and the seller share the cost of what is referred to as the Real Estate Transfer Tax. The home buyer and the seller pay a tax rate of $7.50 per $1,000 each, so the same $400,000 sale would cost the home buyer $3,000 in taxes and the same for the seller.