The short answer is yes, closing costs may be negotiated by seller and buyers.

The amount that the seller is allowed to contribute depends on the type of mortgage loan. The seller’s willingness to pay buyers closing costs might also be based upon current real estate market conditions.

For example, in a seller’s market, buyers might have to increase their purchase price if they expect to receive closing cost assistance.

In a buyer’s market, buyers might have an advantage in negotiating closing costs.

Closing costs are expenses above and beyond the price of the property that sellers and buyers incur that are paid to title companies, attorneys, lenders, insurance companies, local government and other vendors when transferring ownership of a property. 

For buyers paying cash, closing costs may include attorney fees, title search, title insurance, deed recording, and applicable taxes and association fees.

There are additional buyer fees when using a lender and obtaining a mortgage. They include origination fee, appraisal fee, flood insurance, credit report, interest on loan until first payment is due, escrow for taxes and insurance, lender’s title insurance, and mortgage recording.

Other fees may include homeowner’s insurance, interest rate buy-downs, home warranty, home inspection and repairs requested and/or required.

Typical seller closing costs (which are deducted from seller’s proceeds) may include attorney’s closing fee, government transfer tax, pro-rated taxes and association fees, mortgage payoff, liens on property (if any), recording costs and real estate commissions.

Note 1: While most, if not all, closing costs are negotiable, restrictions may apply under certain circumstances.

Note 2: Money might have to be brought to the table if the amount of the seller’s closing costs is more than the seller’s proceeds.

Note 3: Real estate commissions are paid by the seller for compensating both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent.

Experienced and knowledgeable real estate agents (and real estate attorneys) will be able to explain to their sellers and buyers what closing costs they will be expected to pay when selling and/or buying a resale home or building a new home.

What do you think about association transfer, improvement and administrative fee? Who should pay them? They are negotiable.

Do you have questions about negotiating closing costs? Consult your agent, attorney or email me.

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry.,