When it comes to buying a home, closing costs can be a significant expense. Closing costs include fees paid to the lender, title insurance company, and other third-party service providers involved in the home-buying process.
Buyers typically pay closing costs, ranging from 2% to 5% of the home's purchase price, in addition to the down payment. However, there are ways to save money and avoid paying closing costs.
How to avoid closing costs when buying a house
Closing costs can add significant money to the total cost of buying a home. However, home buyers can avoid or minimize these costs in several ways. Here are six strategies:
Negotiate with the seller
Sometimes, the seller may be willing to pay all or some closing costs as part of the negotiation process. This can be particularly effective if the seller is motivated to sell the property quickly.
Shop around for lenders
Closing costs can vary significantly between lenders, so it's a good idea to shop around and compare offers from different lenders. Some lenders may offer lower closing costs as an incentive to attract new customers.
Look for lender incentives
Some lenders may offer incentives to reduce or waive closing costs. For example, a lender may offer a lower interest rate in exchange for paying some or all of the closing costs.
Apply for a no-closing-cost mortgage
Some lenders offer a no-closing-cost mortgage, which means the borrower doesn't have to pay any closing costs upfront. However, this option usually results in a higher interest rate or a larger loan balance.
Roll the closing costs into the loan
Another option is to roll the closing costs into the loan. This means that the borrower borrows enough to cover the closing costs, which are added to the loan balance. However, this option can increase the total cost of the loan over time.
Check for local or state programs
Some local or state programs may offer assistance with closing costs for first-time homebuyers or low-income families. These programs typically have specific eligibility requirements, so checking the program's guidelines before applying is important.
Typical closing costs on a Home Sale
Closing costs are an essential aspect of the home-buying process. Both buyers and sellers need to understand the different types of expenses involved. Here are some of the typical closing costs for a home sale:
- Mortgage costs, including loan application fees, appraisal fees, and mortgage insurance premiums
- Title and settlement fees for the transfer of ownership, title search, and title insurance
- Home appraisal and inspection fees to assess the property's condition and value
- Home warranty to cover repair costs for appliances and other systems
- HOA fees if the property is part of a homeowners association
- Homeowners insurance to protect against damage or loss
- Prorated property taxes to cover the time period of the sale
- Real estate agent's commission based on the sale price of the property
- Pre-listing inspection costs, if required, to assess the property's condition before listing it
- Transfer taxes in your state, which are typically a percentage of the sale price
- Prorated property taxes to cover the time period of the sale
- HOA transfer fee to transfer ownership to the new owner
- Capital gains taxes, if applicable, on the profit from the sale
It's important to note that closing costs can vary depending on the location and purchase price of the property. Sellers should know that these costs can take a significant chunk of their profits. In some states, closing costs may add up to as much as $29,888.
How to avoid closing costs when selling a house
It's not possible to completely avoid closing costs when selling a house. However, there are some strategies you can use to reduce the amount you pay:
Negotiate with the buyer
Some closing costs can be negotiated with the buyer, such as title insurance or transfer taxes. You can try to get the buyer to pay for some of these costs or split them with you.
Compare title insurance companies
Shop around for title insurance companies to find the best rate. Title insurance can be expensive, so finding a lower-fee company can help you save money.
Sell to a cash buyer
If you sell your home to a cash buyer, you may be able to avoid some of the fees associated with a traditional sale, such as loan fees and appraisal costs.
Offer a no-closing-cost option
You can offer the buyer a no-closing option, meaning you pay some or all of the closing costs in exchange for a higher purchase price.
- Refinance to a lower interest rate: If you're still paying off your mortgage, you can consider refinancing to a lower interest rate. This can help reduce your monthly mortgage payments and potentially lower the amount you owe at closing.
It's important to note that even with these strategies, you will still have some closing costs to pay when selling your home. However, these methods can help you save money and reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
Can You Negotiate Closing Costs?
If you're a homebuyer, you may wonder how to avoid closing costs when buying a house. Closing costs refer to the additional fees paid at the end of the home-buying process. These fees can add up and become a significant percentage of the purchase price, dampening the excitement of buying a home.
While it's impossible to eliminate all closing costs, some fees can be reduced or reallocated through negotiation.
Closing costs typically range between three to six percent of the property's purchase price, fluctuating based on local, state, and national property tax rates. They cover everything required to complete a real estate transaction outside the purchase price.
For example, some costs go toward the mortgage origination, which involves a fee charged by the bank to create a loan, typically around one percent of the mortgage amount.
The buyer is responsible for that fee, and many others, in the form of a closing cost. Some other common closing costs include property appraisal fees, real estate agent fees, survey fees, credit report fees, home inspection fees, title search fees, taxes on the home loan amount, document recording fees, escrow deposits, mortgage points, attorney fees, and private mortgage insurance (if required).
Both the buyer and seller are responsible for paying closing costs when selling a house. However, the buyer will typically pay most fees, particularly those related to loan origination, loan taxes, and credit assessment.
Fortunately, you can negotiate closing costs to reduce some fees. The Loan Estimate, implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in October 2015, requires lenders to provide a detailed breakdown of the mortgage loan they have applied for, including the closing costs. This makes it particularly helpful for shoppers interested in negotiating closing costs before committing to a mortgage loan.
Closing costs are unavoidable when buying or selling a home, but some fees can be reduced or negotiated. Buyers should request loan estimates from multiple lenders to compare costs and potentially save money. Sellers can also negotiate with their real estate agent to reduce commission fees or consider no-closing-cost mortgage programs.
It is important to understand closing costs and how they can impact your budget when buying or selling a home.