The recording fee is a fee collected by real estate agents to pay for registering the title of a property sale in public records. It is actually paid to the government agency that registers all real estate sales and purchases in that area, so it becomes public record. This generally is done by county governments, which charge the fee and record the purchase; they also record any liens on the property. It is these public records that a title company always searches before issuing title insurance to make sure that there is clear title to a property, that is, to make sure that the seller is the owner on record in order to protect the buyer. The amount charged for the recording fee varies from county to county, and it covers the administrative costs that the county incurs to record the title.