Agent

Demystify closing-cost customs and taboos

REThink Real Estate

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Q: How do I know what is "customary" when it comes to what the buyer pays vs. what the seller pays in a transaction? How and why did these local "customs" originate, and is it taboo to request to bend or break them? Also, how can consumers know if their agent is just feeding them a line about the existence of these customs? --Glenn A: When it comes down to the standard practices in an area with respect to how closing costs are allocated between buyer and seller, customs definitely exist everywhere. A couple of the normal fees incurred in a transaction are allocated according to custom pretty much the same everywhere. For example, sellers customarily pay broker commissions, and very often pay for the buyer's home warranty. On the other side of the bargaining table, buyers traditionally pay for their own appraisal, inspections and their own loan origination fee -- the fee that their loan broker or mortgage representative charges for their services in fin...