Closing costs can be expensive and scary. You get your house or condo ready to close on, and suddenly you are feeling nervous about the bank’s fee, the appraisal fee, and the attorney’s closing fee.  You also worry about what the bank will charge you to cover price reductions in the sale that you negotiated and what the seller will charge you for the same, and you think about how to negotiate your offer price.  Where is the best place to negotiate these fees without scaring off the seller and without making yourself a victim of price increases?

A lot of people are surprised to see the high closing costs associated with buying a home; these costs can quickly add up. Closing costs are often one of the last costs to be calculated, meaning that they are often not included in the advertised price of the home. In order for you to accurately estimate how much you will actually pay, you must understand the closing costs that you will need to pay, how much they will cost, and how you can save money on these costs.

The average home loan closing costs have more than doubled in the past few years, with the average home loan closing now running nearly $5,000. While you’re saving a sizable chunk of change on your mortgage, it’s worth noting that there are several ways to save money on closing costs and still purchase a home.. Read more about negotiating closing costs with buyer and let us know what you think.

Negotiating Closing Costs

Are you planning to purchase a home in 2021? It’s been a roller coaster journey for us. We finally found a house we adore after dealing with restricted availability, crazy bidding battles, all-cash bids, and almost buying the incorrect property.

So, what’s up next? A mad dash to the closing date, which involves applying for finance for the first time since paying off our mortgage a year and a half ago.

Negotiating closing expenses is the not-so-fun part now. Closing cost sticker shock never fails to surprise me. Why are the figures so large? What happens to all that cash? What’s more, how can I save money on closing costs? 

Here’s what I came up with.

Closing Costs Negotiation

Lenders must provide a loan estimate three days after a loan application is submitted. A comprehensive pricing list for all services done prior to settlement is included in this document.

In most cases, the loan estimate includes anticipated costs for:

  • Points
  • Fees for applications
  • Fees for Origination
  • Fees for Appraisals
  • Fees for Credit Reports
  • Fees for Attorneys
  • Insurance on the title (Owners)
  • Insurance on the title (Lenders)
  • Preparing Documents
  • Fees for Notaries
  • Fees for Attorneys
  • Fees for recording
  • Taxes on the city and county
  • Surveys
  • Inspection for pests
  • Fee for Flood Determination
  • Fee for Settlement or Closing
  • Admin Fee for Realtors
  • And More

Some of these figures, such as taxes and recording costs, are unchangeable. Others, on the other hand, can be worked out, so let’s get down to business.

The Realtor Admin Fee is Waived

In addition to the commissions paid by the seller, real estate brokers charge a realtor admin fee. If your agent charges a fee, it will be included in the contract you sign when you start the home-buying process.

Take care. The majority of agencies will not disclose this charge, and many purchasers will overlook that little paragraph in the contract. Buyers believe that the seller would cover fees and that they will owe no money to the agent.

However, this is not always the case. If you didn’t ask your realtor to waive the charge, it would appear on your loan estimate as Admin/Flat Fee. 

You may ask your agent to waive the charge if it’s mentioned there, but they can reject. After all, you agreed to pay it when you signed the contract. 

Of course, it’s never a bad idea to inquire. Referrals are a common way for real estate agents to find employment. They may waive the fee if they believe you are likely to recommend a new customer to them. We saved $495 by asking the realtor to waive this charge.

Mortgage Rates Comparison

The amount of interest you’ll pay throughout the life of your loan is determined by mortgage rates. So you’ll want to research mortgage rates after you discover a home you like, or better yet, before you find one. 

Some financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, publish their mortgage rates on their websites. Others need you to fill out paperwork or speak with a counselor over the phone.

That’s all right. Make every effort to get a few quotations. Even a fraction of a percentage point may make a significant difference in how much interest you pay over the life of a loan.

It’s time to compare your quotations after you’ve gathered a few. If any rates contain points, use this mortgage points calculator to compare them. 

Look for the best deal on your list. If the interest rates are comparable, you’ll also need to examine loan origination costs.

Fees for loan origination should be reduced.

What is the definition of a loan origination fee? An advance cost paid by a lender to complete your loan application is known as a loan origination fee.

Some lenders impose a single fee. Others divide expenses down into their constituent parts. It makes no difference if one charges more for underwriting and another for appraisals. What counts is how high the total cost of the origination fees is.

Also, lenders that do not charge an origination fee should be avoided. Many of these lenders disguise their costs with additional levies. They may, for example, demand exorbitant fees for appraisals and other loan processing services.

If you get a list of fees, add them up and compare them. Which mortgage provider has the best rates and fees? That may be the finest lender to go with, but that isn’t always the case.

Obtaining a loan requires a significant amount of time and communication between loan processors and purchasers. As a result, make sure you pick a lender that is attentive and whom you can trust. With the rates of your rivals in hand, you may attempt to negotiate reduced costs with a lender of your choice.

Credit unions, in my experience, usually provide the best of both worlds. By avoiding large banks in favor of smaller ones, we were able to find the best rates and fees.

Inquire about the Title Insurance Reissue Rate.

Then there’s title insurance. What is title insurance and how does it work? Lenders and purchasers are protected from financial loss due to title problems such as liens, encumbrances, and errors in the title.

You cannot skip this stage in the process since buyers are obliged to obtain title insurance for lenders. Although a homebuyers insurance is optional, the majority of people believe that you should get one.

In most jurisdictions, you have the option of selecting your own title insurance provider, which may save you thousands of dollars.

How? First, get a copy of the sellers’ current title insurance policy. You may seek a reissue rate from the title firm if their insurance is less than 10 years old. This step will often save you 40% on the cost of a new insurance. Most title firms will not automatically provide the reissue rate, so be sure to inquire about it.

Price comparisons for title insurance

Next, get estimates from a few different title firms. Then compare the cost of the plans as well as any related fees. 

A settlement cost of $850 was levied by one business, while a price of $350 was charged by the other. We requested the first business to price match, and they gladly agreed. Wouldn’t it be great if you could save $500 in that way?

Finally, before your settlement date, double-check line items on your closing disclosure. We discovered a number of mistakes. Don’t take the numbers at face value; double-check title insurance costs well before settlement.

Homeowners Insurance Comparison Shopping

When was the last time you shopped around for homes insurance? When was the last time you purchased a home? Year after year, many of us renew the same insurance coverage. Look around for insurance plans to discover which provider offers the greatest deal. 

Many insurance companies provide multi-line savings. When comparing, keep these in mind.

Compare the costs of additional services.

Are you going to look for wood-boring insects? Do you need a property survey? If that’s the case, look for these services as well. The businesses that real estate brokers, bankers, and title companies suggest aren’t necessarily the most affordable.

At the end of the month, you’ll be able to cancel your account.

Finally, if you want to save money on closing fees, try to arrange your closing on the last day of the month. If you close on the first of the month, you’ll be responsible for interest for the whole thirty days. You’ll just have to pay interest for that one day if you can settle on the thirty-first.

Closing Costs Savings

By putting the ideas above to the test, we were able to save around $1500 on our closing expenses. Do you have any ideas for reducing closing costs? Is there anything more you’d want to add that I haven’t mentioned? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

You’ll need to prepare your closing costs to be effective in helping you get the best deal. Here are some key things to consider when preparing your closing costs:  What are the charges?  Some closing costs are more important than others.  For example, you may want to do a title search, but not a search of the county tax database.  You may want to do a county tax search, but not a title search.  For these types of searches, you’ll want to pay a local service to do them for you.  If they charge by the hour, you may be able to save money.  But you may want to pay by the search and let them charge by the search.. Read more about how to negotiate closing costs with seller and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can closing costs be waived?

Closing costs vary depending on the sale price. However, while it may not always be the case, closing costs can usually be waived and/or granted in rare cases.

Is it better to pay closing costs out-of-pocket?

Some loans will allow a borrower to pay closing costs up-front, but not all loan types have the feature. The interest rate is largely factored into the overall payment; so it is advisable to compare current rates with the costs of out-of-pocket expenses, and decide accordingly.

Is it better to ask for closing costs or lower price?

If the seller offers you a lower price than closing costs, ask for that to be the new lower price. If the seller offers you a time frame for closing costs, you can negotiate around those terms, but ensure that anything the seller has not offered you is not conditional on obtaining the sale. When deciding on closing terms, always ask if closing cost is included. Some sellers, including banks, are able to include closing costs into the sale price, so you should ask if the sales price includes closing costs. However, for closing cost, sellers usually offer discounts, such as 3% for cash offers or 5% for credit holders. If the seller does not offer the lower price, you should ask for a closing date three weeks out or if it will be last minute. Providing a closing date makes negotiating much easier since assurance is provided to both parties that closing costs will be paid one way or another.

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