USDA loans â€¢No limit to how much sellers can contribute (is limited by actual closing costs/prepaids). NOTE: When a home appraises higher than the sales price, closing costs can be financed with USDA rural loans up to the difference between the sales price and appraised value.
There are different percentages allowed for seller contribution if the purchase is an investment home or 2nd residence.
Lenders compete with each other and may offer different rates and different closing cost. Any cost they pass on to you could be removed, but there is typically a trade off in regards to a higher interest rate. Some fees that might be set include fees from other 3rd parties they simply pass on to you like an appraisal or survey. Always a good idea to get a break down of fees from each lender to compare.
As far as sellers, anything is negotiable. They might be willing to pay every closing cost you will have, but you know there would be a catch as in a higher sales price. Fees in regards to sellers include the title insurance fee, Realtor fees, HOA fees and more.
Best advise would be to listen to your Realtor. Regardless if you are a buyer or seller, your agent can give you advise on what are the "normal" fees for your area and what to expect and how to work an offer, but always know nothing is set and you have the right to work with any one you feel will give you the best deal. Keep in mind, however, that no one works for free and to get great service...you will likely have to pay some closing cost.