Soldier to Soldier Hawaii

What are Real Estate Closing Cost ?

Demystifying the Deal: A Guide to Real Estate Closing Costs

Closing on a real estate property is an exciting time — it’s the final step in the home buying process. But the complexity of closing costs can often add a layer of confusion. This blog aims to provide a clear, comprehensive understanding of real estate closing costs and what you can expect.

###What are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are fees and expenses, outside of the property price, that home buyers and sellers must pay to complete a real estate transaction. They include a variety of expenses from various parties, such as lenders, real estate agents, and local government.

###Who Pays Closing Costs?

Typically, both the buyer and seller have closing costs to pay, although who pays what can sometimes be negotiated in the sales contract. Buyers usually pay between 2% and 5% of the property’s purchase price in closing costs.

###Common Closing Costs for Buyers

  1. Appraisal Fee: This is paid to the appraisal company to confirm the fair market value of the home.
  2. Origination Fee: This covers the lender’s administrative costs for processing the mortgage.
  3. Prepaid Costs: These are upfront payments for things like property taxes, homeowners insurance, and interest that accrues between closing and your first mortgage payment.
  4. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If your down payment is less than 20% of the home price, you might need to pay for PMI, which protects your lender in case you default on your loan.
  5. Home Inspection Fee: This covers the cost of a professional home inspection, which can identify potential issues in the property.
  6. Title Insurance: This protects you and the lender from issues with the home’s title.
  7. Property Survey Fee: A survey of the property’s boundaries to determine the lot size.
  8. Credit Report Fee: Fee charged to pull your credit history for your loan application.

###Common Closing Costs for Sellers

  1. Real Estate Agent Commissions: This is usually the biggest closing cost for sellers, typically a percentage of the property’s selling price.
  2. Title Search: This is to ensure there are no liens on the property.
  3. Transfer Taxes: This is a tax imposed by the state, county, or municipality on the transfer of the title from one owner to another.
  4. Home Warranty: This is an optional service contract that covers the cost of repairs or replacements to items such as heating and cooling systems, appliances, and plumbing.
  5. Escrow Fee: Charged by the company that manages the closing.

###Final Thoughts on Closing Costs

It’s essential for home buyers and sellers to be aware of these costs to avoid surprises at the closing table. Because every real estate transaction is unique, the list above might not include all possible costs. A good rule of thumb is to start saving early and budget for these expenses when planning to buy or sell a home. Always consult with a real estate professional or financial advisor to understand what applies to your specific situation. Closing costs are an integral part of the real estate process, but with proper planning, they can be navigated smoothly and efficiently.

Celester Thomas

Company Blog – Soldier to Soldier Hawaii Realty

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