Understanding Real Estate Closing Costs: A Buyer's Guide

by: Attorney Noyes

9/6/20232 min read

two person handshaking
two person handshaking

Real estate closings are significant milestones in the property-buying journey, but they can be accompanied by a web of costs that may catch some buyers off guard. As seasoned real estate attorneys at Noyes & Associates, we believe that informed buyers make confident decisions. This guide will demystify real estate closing costs to help you navigate this essential phase of your property purchase.

1. What Are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are the fees for finalizing a real estate transaction. These costs are typically divided between the buyer and the seller and can vary widely based on location, property price, and mortgage type.

2. Understanding Your Closing Costs:

• Loan-Related Costs: These include fees for loan origination, credit reports, and appraisal.
• Title-Related Costs: Title insurance premiums, title search, and attorney fees fall into this category.
• Government Fees: Transfer taxes, recording fees, and prepaid property taxes are often involved.
• Home Inspection Costs: Fees for property inspections and surveys.
• Insurance Expenses: Costs for homeowner's insurance and, if required, private mortgage insurance (PMI).
• Escrow Payments: Funds held in escrow cover future property taxes and insurance premiums.
• Miscellaneous Costs: Additional expenses may include courier fees, wire transfer charges, and notary fees.

3. Estimating Your Closing Costs:

• Loan Estimate: Your lender must provide you with a Loan Estimate within three days of your loan application. This document outlines your expected closing costs.
• Closing Disclosure: Before the closing date, you will receive a Closing Disclosure that provides the final details of your closing costs. Review it carefully to ensure accuracy.

4. Negotiating Closing Costs:

While some closing costs are non-negotiable, others may be open to negotiation. Work with your real estate agent and attorney to explore potential cost reductions or credits from the seller.

5. Preparing for Closing Costs:

• Budget in Advance: Calculate your anticipated closing costs and factor them into your budget before you begin your property search.
• Ask Questions: Don't hesitate to ask your lender or attorney to explain any fees or charges you don't understand.
• Review Documents: Carefully review all closing documents to verify the accuracy of the costs.

6. How Noyes & Associates Can Help:

Navigating the intricate landscape of closing costs can be challenging, but you don't have to do it alone. Our team of experienced real estate attorneys is here to:

• Review and explain all closing documents.
Ensure that you are not overcharged or subjected to hidden fees.
• Protect your interests throughout the closing process.

Closing costs need not be a mystery or a source of anxiety for homebuyers. You can confidently move forward with your real estate transaction with proper guidance and understanding.

If you have questions about real estate closing costs or need assistance purchasing property, don't hesitate to contact Noyes & Associates. We are committed to helping you make informed decisions and ensuring a smooth and successful closing. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and concerns.