Closing costs are part of any home buying experience and venture. These are essentially out of pocket costs that are incurred at the time of closing. The fees are charges that predominately result the title and escrow company who completes the sale.  It includes the escrow company fees, as well as certain fees to a title company of the seller’s choice.  Title companies are necessary to provide the buyer “title insurance”.  The example that best describes it to me was, “Ok, so imagine Homeowner A borrowing a large sum of money 10 years ago from Uncle B.  Uncle B was smart and had Homeowner A sign a contract that included the home as partial collateral for the loan.  Homeowner later sells the home to Homebuyer C.  Does Uncle B, if never repaid, have a claim to the home, now owed by Homebuyer C?” Title Insurance prevents that from happening.  They preventing it by providing a buyer with an insurance policy against the title of the home, so that, should any claim against the home be brought, the insurance company can provide coverage from a potential loss.  This is commonly known as Title Insurance, and is almost always paid for by the seller of the home.

So, in addition to those fees, this brings us to the last step in securing timely waterfront home ownership across the board. Usually, closing costs include pre-paid homeowners insurance and appraisal costs. However, they can also include charges by the mortgage company for implementing the mortgage itself. Similarly, pre-paid interest – known as “points” – may also be assessed during closing time. Other fees may include title insurance, along with filing fees, attorney fees, recording fees and miscellaneous expenses.  Fees typically operate on somewhat of a sliding scale, so the fees would be less if buying a condo vs a single family home.

Avoid Issues with Closing Costs

One of the best ways to avoid closing cost issues is by paying close attention to every detail. You simply cannot afford to get caught off guard at closing. This can result in costly delays, and possibly even turn you away from the deal altogether. With this in mind, is it vital to request an advanced copy of the HUD 1 settlement. This should be done at least three days prior to closing on your new homes. The HUD is designed to protect you during the closing process, and not worry about surprise fees on closing day. Here are some essentials you should keep in mind:

•    Review the entire closing agreement – or let your attorney review it in close detail.
•    Check all the closing costs and figures to make sure they are 100% correct.  Point out any discrepancies or issues with credit or closing costs – and handle them ASAP.
•    Stay on top of all buyer-seller- agent communications across the board. Make sure to include your lender and attorney in the loop as well.
•    Make sure to keep hard copies of the HUD agreement on hand before, during and even after closing.
•    Make sure everyone in the loop is on the same page – stay in close communication with your Realtor -and correct any errors or issues that can potentially cause delays.

Schedule Early Walk Throughs

Another way to avoid problems with closing costs is scheduling an early walk-through. This, of course, has to be done before closing day so you can check the home thoroughly. If you find any issues – you must notify the seller, agent or attorney at once. Remember, closing costs are governed by enforceable contracts – but all parties must be in agreement across the board. This contract also includes any legal or governing bodies – especially HUD-related rules and regulations. If you do not want to delay your closing day, all closing costs must be taken care of beforehand as well. Again, make sure every penny is accounted for on the contract – and always take photos of your bills and receipts.

You also need a detailed checklist of what was supposed to remain the property – and what was to be taken. For example: if the fixtures were supposed to remain but a few are missing, early inspections can rectify the situations before they escalate and lead you to walk out on the deal.

For more information about buyer closing costs, contact our office through or visit us directly.