You’ve come up with a budget. You’ve found the right place that fits within the budget. Now what? Many home buyers and sellers forget the hidden costs that come with closing on the sale of a home. Those hidden costs should be prepared early on and either factored into the budget or negotiated into the real estate purchase contract.
This article will discuss some of the costs home buyers should be prepared to cover, define some essential real estate lingo, and cover some costs you can negotiate around.
Typical Buyer Costs
In a perfect world, a house would cost what it’s listed for, but there are usually some additional costs that are part of buying a home. The following items are the typical closing costs home buyers should be prepared for:
- Title Search – A title search is essential to reassure you and your lender that the seller has full title to sell. It will reveal easements, liens, and restrictions on the property.
- Title Insurance – A title insurance policy protects you and the buyer from fraud or mistake and will defend your ownership. If you’re taking out a mortgage, your lender may require an additional policy for them as well.
- Home Inspection – Home inspections help determine if there are any alerting conditions in things like the roof, plumbing, foundational issues, termites, mold or asbestos.
- Appraisal – An appraisal establishes the value of the house given its condition and locality. If you’re getting a mortgage, most lenders will require an appraisal.
- Survey – A survey is typically optional, but it can be helpful to ensure the boundary lines for a single-family home are what you believe they are. They also help you to avoid any ownership disputes and discrepancies in the title descriptions.
- Property Taxes – The property taxes are typically prorated for the portion of the year that you occupy the home.
- Attorney’s Fees– Attorney’s fees will vary state by sate and are dependent on the amount of work that is required based on the property. If an attorney is needed, aim for quality work and reputation – and we will recommend one.
Understanding the “As-Is”
Some sellers choose to sell their home in its “as-is” condition, which contractually limits the seller from any liability for any issues with the home. If an inspection reveals concerning issues, such as with the foundation, or identifies water damage, you will be responsible for all the costs associated with that repair. The as-is language tells potential buyers from the outset that the price is set with all damages and maintenance issues factored into the price, which can raise closing and post-closing costs.
Negotiating the Costs
Like most matters, everything is negotiable. Sometimes, a seller will pay all of the buyer’s closing costs to encourage the buyer to follow through with the purchase. If the inspection reveals some repairs that need to happen and they affect the value of the house, buyers may be able to negotiate for the seller to make such repairs prior to closing and/or reduce the purchase price to account for the cost of the repairs. A home buyer should be prepared to make small repairs and cosmetic changes themselves. A buyer can also as for the seller to pay for a home warranty to cover certain home appliances, such as heating, air conditioning, water heaters, and electrical systems. If you’re purchasing in a buyer’s market, sellers are more likely to consent to more costs, but if you’re purchasing in a seller’s market, you may not be able to negotiate as much or not at all.
All real estate purchases come with some additional fees here and there. When searching for your home, be prepared to cover closing costs and some repairs. Also make sure you have a grasp on what “as-is” entails, and don’t be afraid to negotiate with the seller to cover closing costs and repairs. If you go into the home-buying experience well prepared, you’ll likely save yourself a lot of stress, time, and money. And we’re here to help you every step of the way.
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