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Buyer or Seller: Who Pays for Closing Costs and Title Insurance?

Curious about who pays for closing costs and title insurance at closing?

Title insurance is confusing for any first-time homebuyer. What type of title insurance policy is required to own a home and who is responsible for paying closing costs and title insurance? It is important to understand the complexities involved in the home buying process. First, you need to understand what closing is and what title insurance is.

Closing is the point during a home sale when the seller transfers title to the home buyer. Closing costs are the fees associated with the purchase of the home and are due at closing. Title insurance is a good investment because it protects homebuyers and mortgage lenders against defects or problems with a title when there is a transfer of ownership.

Reading: Who pays for buyers title insurance

Before closing on a home, there are a few things you should know about title insurance.

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is title insurance required?

Title insurance is not required to own a home. however, without it, you lack protection against homeownership claims and risk losing your investment in the process. There are extreme cases where a title insurance policy saves you from nightmare scenarios like hidden taxes, liens, restrictions, and anything that devalues ​​the home or is incorrectly recorded on the deed.

Title insurance can protect you against unforeseen or unknown issues that arise when you purchase property. Some scenarios that may arise include:

  • Seller bought the property after an illegal foreclosure.
  • A distant relative who owned the house decades ago resurfaces claiming they never approved the sale, resulting in a lawsuit .
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  • After the sale, a contractor claims he performed services on the house and was never paid by the previous owner, sued him and placed a lien on the house.

When a lien is placed on your home, it can prevent you from refinancing or selling your home unless you pay the outstanding amount. rightful owners with legitimate claims can result in the total loss of their home.

Even if you think you can trust the seller, the house itself could have unknown issues that cause problems down the road. it’s a good idea to be safe and invest in a title insurance policy.

Keep in mind that title insurance only covers problems that date back before you took possession of the home. if the government decides it wants to tear down your house and build a road, or if you don’t pay your property taxes, you’re out of luck. title insurance won’t cover it.

>>>> visual guide to closing costs…get the pdf.

Who pays for the owner’s title insurance or closing costs?

buyer seller closing costs

In the case of a homebuyer’s title insurance policy, it is customary for the seller to pay the costs of the policy issued to the new owner. Mortgage lenders also require a title insurance policy. it is customary for the homebuyer to pay for the lender’s policy.

The home buyer’s escrow funds end up paying the homeowner’s and lender’s policies. At closing, the cost of the homeowner’s title insurance policy is added to the seller’s settlement statement, and the buyer covers the lender’s title insurance policy prior to closing.

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Rates may be negotiable, and it’s important to note that you can shop around for lenders until you find one that offers you a loan with lower rates. Closing costs can vary depending on where you live, the type of property you buy, and the type of loan you choose.

Before you begin the home buying process, ask your lender if they will require you to have cash reserves. Today, many lenders require that borrowers have extra money in the bank, not just what is required for a down payment and closing costs, known as cash reserves. Technically, these reserves aren’t part of your closing costs because you’re not actually paying the money, but you do need to have it in the bank because it proves you can make your first mortgage payments.

Other items you’ll want to cross off your list before closing day comes include:

make sure all contingencies are addressed.

Most purchase agreements have contingencies in place that home buyers must meet before the sale is official. These include a home appraisal that ensures the home’s value is accurate, a home inspection that shows the home is free of any problems, and the ability to back out of the sale if your mortgage fails.

get final mortgage approval.

Prior to closing, your mortgage loan must go through an underwriting process. Underwriters are like real estate detectives: their purpose is to make sure you have represented yourself and your finances honestly, and that you have not included false or inaccurate information on your loan application.

examine your closing disclosure.

if you’re getting a loan, one of the best ways to prepare is to thoroughly review your closing statement, also known as a hud-1 settlement statement. This official document outlines the exact amount of your mortgage payments, loan terms, and closing costs. You’ll want to compare your closing disclosure to the loan estimate your lender initially gave you. if you see a difference, ask your lender to explain it to you.

Take a final tour.

Most sales contracts allow home buyers to tour the home within 24 hours of closing. During this time, you’ll want to make sure the previous owner has vacated, unless other arrangements have been made. This is the time to ensure that the condition of the home reflects what was agreed in the contract. If the home inspection revealed problems that the sellers agreed to fix, confirm that all repairs have been made.

Bring all required documentation to closing.

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To avoid delays in closing, please bring the following items with you on your way to closing:

  • a copy of your contract with the seller
  • proof of homeowners insurance
  • home inspection reports
  • identification with government issued photo
  • any paperwork the bank requires to approve your loan

how much should you pay in closing costs?

For most homebuyers, closing costs are a percentage of the total cost to purchase a home. Most closing costs are the responsibility of the homebuyer, typically averaging two to five percent of the sale price. for a home costing $250,000, closing costs can range from $5,000 to $12,500.

Expenses include things like:

  • attorney fees
  • appraisal & credit reporting fees
  • loan origination & escrow fees
  • lender’s title insurance policy
  • recording, title search, & subscription fees
  • survey & inspection fees

Some costs are optional, may be passed on to the seller, and may vary in price from state to state. it all depends on how you choose to do business. some states with high real estate costs may experience higher rates for things like security deposits.

Often, the buyer’s closing costs can be included in the asking price of the home or in the original contract with the seller. for example, the homebuyer can request an offer on a home by asking the seller to pay three percent of the closing costs or even a fixed dollar amount.

Another thing to think about is that government agencies may pay closing costs for first-time homebuyers. Eligibility will depend on where you live, and it may make sense to check the county or state down payment assistance programs in your area. Often times, these programs will provide a down payment to purchase a home and give or lend you closing costs.

Are you planning to close on a house soon?

closing day is an exciting time: you are almost at the finish line and in your new home. but it is good to be prepared and know what to expect. In addition to all the documents that need to be signed, there are other things to look forward to on closing day:

  • the home buyer (or the buyer’s lender) will deliver a check for the amount due on the purchase price of the home.
  • the home seller will deliver the deed to the buyer of the house this act officially transfers ownership to the buyer. the seller will also hand over the keys.
  • The title company (or in some cases an attorney or notary) will register the new deed with the appropriate government office. this record will show the buyer as the new owner of the home.
  • the seller of the home will receive the proceeds from the sale, once the mortgage balance and closing costs are paid .

If you’re planning to close on your new home soon, it’s a good idea to work with a team of title experts. bay national title company offers reliable real estate title and ownership services for buyers and lenders.

who pays for closing costs infographic

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