Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
Leading Edge Real Estate | 781-944-6060 | [email protected]


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 8/9/2018

Closing costs are usually an unavoidable part of buying a home. While there are ways to reduce some closing costs and fees, they are an expense you will likely have to consider when it comes time to save for a home.

On average, buyers can expect to pay between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price in closing costs and fees.

In this article, we’re going to break down those costs and talk about some ways to plan for, or limit, the fees associated with closing on a home.

A breakdown of closing costs

Most closing costs in a real estate transaction are paid for by the buyer. When getting approved for a mortgage, your lender is required to provide you with an estimate of the closing costs. This is called a “Closing Disclosure statement” which overviews the details of your loan.

Different lenders will charge varying amounts in fees. Some are even willing to waive certain fees. But, we’ll discuss that later.

For now, let’s focus on the closing costs buyers typically have to pay:

  • Attorney fees - a flat-fee or hourly rate depending on the attorney

  • Origination fees - an upfront fee charged by the lender for processing your mortgage application

  • Prepaid interest or discount points - a payment for the interest that will accrue on your mortgage from the time you close until your first mortgage payment is due

  • Home inspection fee - the fee that a professional home inspector charges to inspect a home

  • Escrow deposits - Usually split with the seller, this is the fee charged by an escrow agent

  • Recording fees - fees for legally recording the new deed and mortgage

  • Underwriting fees - fees paid to the lender for researching your mortgage case and determining whether or not to approve your application

These are just some of the many fees that can be due upon closing on a home. Depending on where you live, which lender you choose, and the type of mortgage you secure, your closing costs will vary, so it’s a good idea to shop around for a lender and mortgage type with reasonable closing costs.

Reducing closing costs

Some lenders offer no-cost, or low-cost mortgages. However, these savings often come with a higher interest rate which, over the lifespan of your loan, can cost you more in the long run.

You should also be aware of the different loan types that you may be eligible for. FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans are all designed for buyers hoping to make lower down payments on their home.

Each loan type provides different amounts due at closing. Fortunately, your mortgage lender will be able to give you an estimate of costs for each loan type.

Want to get an estimate of the closing costs you’ll have to pay when you buy a home? You can use this online calculator to see an average.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 7/26/2018

From the time an offer is made on a property, and the deal is done, you may face quite a few challenges. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the process can be dizzying. There are a lot of things that go on from the time an offer is accepted, and the closing table is reached. The entire process of home buying and selling is designed with built-in protections to help both buyers and sellers avoid feeling a lot of regrets. Below, you’ll find some familiar situations in the buying and selling process, and what’s available to help you avoid disappointment.


Once An Offer Is Accepted, Is It Binding? 


If you were overzealous to accept an offer on the home you’re selling and wish you had looked at others before making a decision, you’re not out of luck. Once you’re under contract, you’re obligated to sell to a buyer. The reason you may want to look at other offers is that it doesn’t hurt to have a “backup” buyer. If something falls through with the first buyer, the second buyer in line becomes automatically under contract. While you may not necessarily sell for more, in this case, there’s a sure way available to help you sell your home fast. 


The Buyer Doesn’t Have The Financing They Thought They Did


If a buyer’s financial backing falls through or if the buyer is unable to get financing by the closing date, as a seller, you can walk away. Any financial changes to the contract that would impact you as a seller including a change in the type of loan, downpayment amount, or any variation from the contract terms allow the seller to end the contract unscathed. 


Something Wasn’t Disclosed About The Property


Not everything is required to be disclosed by a seller. It all depends upon the rules within the state where you are buying. Understand what’s required to be revealed. If you feel uncomfortable with something, you can inquire about it, or add a contingency to have the problem addressed. Things like a death on the property can't be changed, for example. Your state may not even require that these events be disclosed.


The Home Inspection Raised Some Concerns 


If the home inspection reveals some issues that the seller isn’t willing to fix, you have the right as a buyer to walk away. In many cases, these problems would be things like wiring or plumbing issues. 


The Property Appraised For Less Than The Offer


If the property appraises for less than what you offered for the home, you may feel quite upset as a buyer. Don’t worry! There are a few things that you can do. Lenders won’t give you more than what the property appraises for. You can, however, bring more of your own cash to the closing table. You can also wait for the seller to adjust the asking price, or withdraw your offer altogether. The problem with the last solution is that you may lose any earnest money deposits      





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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 12/14/2017

The home buying process can be long and daunting. From trying to find the right home to facing rejected offers, it can seem endless. Eventually, you will find the right home and get that offer accepted. Now you must face the next phase what’s called “closing” on a home. What exactly happens at the closing table can vary based on your own situation, but the important thing to know is that the closing table is where the deal is sealed and signed. The home of your dreams will finally be yours!


Find The Location


The location of the closing will be determined beforehand. It’s usually at a lawyer’s office but it could be at a realtor’s office. The attorney who has been chosen will be noted on the closing documents you receive before you get there.   


Get Ready To Write Large Checks


When you’re closing on a home, this is the time that the downpayment is expected along with all of the lawyer’s fees, taxes, commissions, assessments, and other agreements. This money should be presented at the time of closing and there’s no wiggle room on the timing, so be sure you have the cash handy in your account. Often, a bank check will be required to pay these fees along with the downpayment. Your lender will give a a detailed report of the fees that are required before you even head to the closing table, so you’ll have time to prepare.


Do Some Hand Stretches


There will be plenty of pens available at the closing. You’ll be there for awhile signing many important documents, so bring some water. If you don’t have a safe or file folders, you’ll want to get them as well. Depending on how your closing is conducted, a lawyer or other authorized person will be present to explain the legal jargon to you for every piece of paper that you’re signing. Every document that you sign should be saved for your reference and safe keeping. The proof of insurance and the deed to your property are definitely documents that you’ll want to have handy for a long time to come. Your home is one of the largest purchases that you’ll ever make in your lifetime, so be sure to keep that paperwork in order. 


After Closing Ends


After all of the papers are signed and the walkthrough of the home is complete, you’re a homeowner! In most cases, you’ll be able to call the home your own immediately. In some special cases, there are post-closing agreements that include repairs that couldn’t be done ahead of time, or other transactions that the seller may have agreed with you on at an earlier date. 


In most cases, everything will be taken care of right at the closing table. One of the most exciting moments is when the keys are handed over to you! After a long time of searching, many phone calls, and a lot of work, now you can start putting that elbow grease into your home!




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Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA