Real Estate Sellers' Closing Costs

Congratulations! You have a contract to sell your house. You are looking at that sales price and thinking what a large number it is. However, that sales price is not the amount you will be taking home from the closing. What will be deducted from that price?

1. Real estate agent fee – before you put your property up for sale, you will probably have retained the services of a real estate agent who will help you sell your house. You will have signed a contract with the real estate agent which lists the fee that the agent will charge.

2. Attorney fee – a seller in certain parts of the country will retain a lawyer to represent him in the sale of real estate. In other states, the real estate broker and title company will perform some of the functions of an attorney that are not considered practicing law, ie, completing a pre-printed Contract of Sale and Preparation for and Attaching the Closing. An attorney protects the seller's interests at every step of the transaction. Attorneys fees generally range from $ 750 to $ 950.

3. Grantor transfer fee – Some of the states require the seller to pay a transfer fee on every property he / she sells, whether or not it is a personal residence. The fee is based on the sales price of the property and the rate may go up at various sales prices.

4. Mortgage and related fees – If you have a mortgage on your property, the amount of the mortgage (plus any unpaid interest plus any late fees) will be deducted from your sales price. Prior to the closing, you will request a payoff statement from your lender that will set forth the amount that is necessary to pay the entire mortgage. If your mortgage lender has been escrowing money for the payment of your real estate taxes and homeowner's insurance, they may deduct the escrow account funds from the total amount due. Other lenders send you a refund check after they have received the check for the payoff of the mortgage. The settlement agent may charge you a fee for obtaining the Discharge (or Satisfaction) of Mortgage. This fee is approximately $ 75.00; there may be an additional charge for overnight mail to send the check paying off the mortgage to the lender and record the Discharge of Mortgage.

5. Home inspection repairs – the buyer will typically retain a home inspector to look through your entire house (roof to foundation) to find any structural problems or problems with the heating, cooling and electrical systems. The home inspector will send a written report to the buyer's attorney or real estate agent who will forward a copy to your attorney or real estate agent with a request that you make certain repairs. Certain repairs must be made only because if this buyer raises it as an issue, every buyer will raise it as an issue. These types of repairs include problems with the roof, termites, mold, boiler, water heater and abandoned oil tanks. How much will these repairs cost? Your real estate agent will help you find expert contractors who will give you an estimate as to how much it will cost to make the repairs. Your attorney or real estate agent will negotiate on your behalf which repairs you will do or whether you will give the buyer a credit against the balance of the purchase price due at closing.

6. Real estate taxes / sewer fees – you have paid your real estate taxes when they became due, sometimes quarterly, semi-annually, or once a year. When you sell your house, the buyer reimburses you for the taxes you prepaid, calculated from the closing date to the date on which the next tax payment is due. Occidentally, the closing is scheduled for a date before the taxes have been paid. If you have not paid the taxes by the closing date, the buyer pays the taxes and you reimburse the buyer. Some towns charge a separate sewer fee that is also subject to reimbursement by the buyer or the seller, depending on when the sewer fee is due and whether it was paid before the closing.

7. Homeowner association fees – this fee is charged when the property is a condominium or in a planned community. The fee that has been already paid by the seller is allocated between the seller and the buyer according to the closing date. If the seller has not paid the homeowner association fee before the closing date, the seller will owe the buyer for a portion of the fee.

Unfortunately, the closing expenses always seem to be higher than what a seller expects. Your attorney or real estate agent will be able to guide you through the process so that you will not be totally surprised.

Source by Robin Gronsky