If this is a matter of wanting to have a little extra cash on hand at the time you close on the property, you might want to consider offering a little more money and then asking for a credit back at the close.
Your best advice on this will likely come from your local real estate professional.
We just closed FHA sale where all buyer's closing costs were paid by a seller(2%) and the rest by a lender. Buyer had to pay only 3.5% down to move into a house.
I think it depends where the property is and how much is the asking price. Right now its a seller's market and depending on your location, properties are selling fast. I think this would be a good question to ask your Realtor. He/She should be able to tell you if its a good idea or not. It is possible, infact I have a listing that went into escrow in 14 days. The buyers asked for $4,000 credit toward closing costs and my sellers accepted it.
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It depends on your purpose. If you like making offers asking for closing costs is a good way to write offers. More skill and insight will be needed to turn those offers into an accepting purchase contract.
What is incredibly important to a buyer and seller is understanding one of the major issues each must face.
This issue is 'the assurance of closing.'
For the buyer, this assurance means the money they spend on inspection, appraisal and even the cost of preparing to move or moving are not at risk. This often places their down payment at risk. If you lose too much money you can inadvertantly be removed from home buying eligibility. When a buyer presents a "Clear-to-Close' instead of a pre-approval, gigantic uncertainty is removed. Too often, everything goes well and Wells Fargo refuses the mortgage two days before closing. That is how you spell UNCERTAINTY.
For the seller removing uncertainty means they are not penalized by taking the home off the market (aging) and will not be penalized by indelible disclosure issues as the result of a failed purchase attempt.
As Kristin and Jill pointed out, it is hard to make a 'pay closing cost' request that does not increase uncertainty.
What can you couple to your 'pay closing cost' requirement that provides greater assurance to the seller? Options do exist, but you MUST make them clearly understood.
Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
If your offer was going to be 500k and you wanted 15k in closing costs, you'd offer 515k. The potential issue with this approach is appraisal. If the property doesn't appraise for the contract price, it may kill the transaction, but there's also a good chance it may appraise and sail right through.
It would also be nice if your agent suggested that he or she not accept commission on the self-financed closing costs. It's a small detail that's a good will gesture and shows the seller you and your agent are motivated to make it work. Agents shouldn't be paid on closing costs anyway.
But in a multiple-offer situation, the extra $10k for closing costs will lose the deal for you.
Realty One Group
Here in Los Angeles, there are a limited number of homes on the market.
Therefore, it is not typical to ask for Seller to pay closing costs.
However, there could be a circumstance where it is warranted, such as to offset other costs the buyer agrees to incur; e.g., anticipated repair or having to pitch in to make up the difference for a low appraisal.
Hope that helps! Dana Rose Saffron, Sotheby's
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Best of luck!