A Quick Guide to Closing Costs


Lenders will order an appraisal to assess a home’s value. The appraisal fee can vary, depending on the location of a property, its size and the number of units involved. The typical fee range is $200 to $700, but it can go higher. “If you’re buying, say, a $6 million property, you might pay a $2,000 fee to the appraiser,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

The appraiser will evaluate the home’s condition, among other things. “If the appraiser calls for a remediation of a problem, it usually is the seller’s responsibility,” Mr. Yecies said.

To ensure there are no issues with the ownership of a home, or liens or judgments against it, a title search is conducted. Buyers could theoretically do this on their own by examining public records, but most real estate and mortgage brokers recommend hiring a professional. Title companies can charge from around $150 to $500 for a title search.

Nearly all lenders will require title insurance as an added protection against any potential disputes after the closing — this is usually paid by the buyer in a one-time premium. The premiums can vary from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars, depending on the state where the purchase takes place and the price of the property. Owner’s title insurance is optional, though often recommended, too. In many states, you can shop around for the best deals. The American Land Title Association, a trade group, has a searchable database of title insurance companies by state on its website.

To confirm the boundaries of a property, a land survey is ordered. Costs vary by marketplace, too. Professional surveys cost, on average, $400 to $700, according to Quicken Loans. “If there’s an existing survey 10 years old or less the title company might allow the use of that survey,” Mr. Yecies said. “I always recommend people get a survey. What if you have a boundary dispute with your neighbor over the placement of a fence, or who owns a tree?”

Some states require that buyers have a real estate lawyer present for the closing transaction.

The lawyer will typically review all the necessary paperwork and documentation and advise on any issues. Legal fees will vary widely, usually depending on the location and the type of property being purchased. Expect to pay either a flat fee or an hourly rate, usually starting at around $150 an hour. Some law offices may offer a discount if they’re hired to represent a buyer in both the selling and purchase of a home.

A credit report will be ordered to determine your creditworthiness. Some lenders may cover this cost; otherwise, expect to pay from $30 to $50 per report. You could pay more, however, if there are inaccuracies in a report that need to be corrected.


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