Closing costs vary by location

Whether buying or selling, be prepared for surprises

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Closing costs, the costs associated with buying or selling a home, can add up. It’s wise to get an estimate of how much you’re likely to pay in closing costs before you make an offer to buy a home or accept an offer to sell.

Closing costs reduce the amount the seller nets from the sale. Buyers need to know in advance of entering into a home-purchase contract that they have enough cash to cover both the downpayment and closing costs.

Closing costs vary with location. Often who pays what fees — buyer or seller — is dictated by local custom. For instance, in Northern California, buyers usually pay the title insurance premium, while sellers usually pay the premium in Southern California.