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Closing Costs Breakdown for Home Buyers and Home Sellers
If you are buying or selling a home, you will have to pay closing costs. Closing cost typically range between 2 and 6% of the sales price of the house, but vary greatly depending on the sales price, location of the property, loan type, and lenders fees. The following list of fees are standard costs associated when buying or selling a house.
Application Fee – This is usually the only fee that you will pay upfront when applying for a mortgage. Typically, it covers the cost of the credit report fee and appraisal.
Appraisal – This is paid to the appraisal company to verify the condition and fair market value of the home.
Appraisal Re-Inspection Fee – The appraisal fee pays for a professional appraiser to visit a home, evaluate the condition and features, and provide an estimate of the market value. If any repairs are cited, they will typically have to be completed and re-inspected by the appraiser prior to closing.
Attorney Fee – The fee for an attorney to review the closing documents on behalf of the buyer or seller.
Closing Fee/Escrow Fee/ Settlement Fee – This is paid to the title company, escrow company, or attorney for conducting the closing.
Courier/Overnight Fee – This covers the cost of transporting documents to complete the loan transaction.
Credit Report – A tri-merge credit report is used to review your credit history and credit scores.
Discount Fees or Points – Additional costs charged to buy the interest rate down.
Escrow Deposit for Property Taxes & Mortgage Insurance – Funds placed in your escrow account to ensure enough funds are available to pay future property tax, home owners insurance, and private mortgage insurance bills.
FHA Up-Front Mortgage Insurance Premium – If you are applying for an FHA loan, you’ll be required to pay the upfront MIP of 1.75% of the base loan amount. This expense is typically rolled into your mortgage.
Flood Determination – This is paid to a third party to determine if the property is located in a flood zone. If the property is found to be located within a flood zone, you will need to purchase flood insurance.
Home Inspection – Private inspection to determine condition of property.
Homeowners’ Insurance – This covers possible damages to your home. Your first year’s insurance is often paid at closing.
Home Warranty – This is a one year insurance policy on the appliances and/or electrical, heating, and plumbing systems in the house.
Lender’s Policy Title Insurance – This is insurance to assure the lender that you own the home and the lender’s mortgage is a valid lien. It also protects the lender if there is a problem with the title.
Lead-Based Paint Inspection – May be required to determine if lead-based paint is present in property.
Lock in Fee – A fee charged by the lender to protect the interest rate during the processing and underwriting phase of the loan process.
Owner’s Policy Title Insurance – This is an insurance policy that protects you in the event someone challenges your ownership of the home. Many lending institutions require this protection.
Origination Fee – This is a fee charged by some mortgage lenders and covers part of the lender’s costs. It’s usually about 1 percent of the total loan amount, but is negotiable.
Pest Inspection – This fee covers the cost to inspect for termites.
Prepaid Interest – Most lenders will ask you to prepay any interest that will accrue between closing and the date of your first mortgage payment.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – If your down payment is less than 20% of the home’s purchase price, you will likely be required to pay PMI.
Processing Fee – A lender fee used to cover overhead costs.
Property Tax – Lenders unusually require any taxes due within 60 days of the purchase to be paid at closing.
Recording Fees – A fee charged by your local county recording office for the recording of public land records.
Survey Fee – This service verifies that there are no encroachments on the property you are purchasing.
Title Insurance Policy – The Loan Policy is usually based on the dollar amount of the loan and it protects the lender’s interests in the property should a problem with the title arise.
Title Search – An investigation into the origin and validity of a title to a property.
Title Exam Fee – This fee is paid to search the property’s records. The title company researches the deed to your new home, ensuring that no one else has a claim to the property.
Transfer Taxes – This is the tax paid when the title transfers from seller to buyer.
Underwriting Fee – This is a fee that your lender may charge to cover the cost of underwriting your mortgage file.
VA Funding Fee – If you have a VA loan, you may be required to pay a VA funding fee at closing (or you can roll this fee into the loan if you prefer). This is a percentage of the loan amount that the VA assesses to fund the VA home loan program, however disabled veterans are exempt from this fee.
Most loan types allow the seller to pay a percent of the sales price towards the buyers closing costs. FHA mortgages allow the seller to pay up to 6%, conventional loans allow the seller to pay between 2 to 6% of the sales price toward buyers closing costs, and for VA loans the seller is typically allowed to pay all of the buyers closing costs.
Your mortgage lender is required to provide you with a disclosure called a “Loan Estimate” which is a detailed list of the closing costs, down payment, and total costs needed to close your mortgage. Many of the fees listed on the loan estimate can change as much as 10% of the amount listed, unless your loan program changes. If an unforeseen event occurs and the mortgage program changes in order to close your loan, you should receive a form called a “Change of Circumstance” which provides a detailed list of any changes and discloses your new fees. After you receive your final approval, your lender will email you a form called the “Closing Disclosure” at least 3 days prior to your actual closing date. After receiving your closing disclosure, you should compare the fees listed to your initial loan estimate and/or change of circumstance disclosure to verify that your fees have not changed more than the 10% allotted variance.
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