If you are asking about the negotiation of specific fees as Brad mentions below...most fees are pretty specific and are calculated off of the sales price. The lenders have the most variances in their fee structures so having a lender that you can trust is key. Get your costs in writing and know what you are paying for. There is nothing wrong with paying points if it is accomplishing a lower interest rate that makes sense for you.
Most importantly...get your loan cost information (pre-approval) before you start looking at houses.
Federal law says lenders have to charge all borrowers the same fees, so that's off the table.
Escrow companies and title companies all have posted rates with the state.
Getting the best deal possible is always a great idea, but in this market don't "negotiate" your way
out of the best representation possible. Most likely you'll be dealing with a bank who has done this thousands of times.
Everything is negotiable but call the title agent and see what they say when you ask them to reduce the cost to insure, or the escrow agent to handle the transaction, or see if the notary will do the signing for $50 rather than $150, or if your homeowner insurance provider will knock a few dollars off the premium or if the appraiser will do the inspection for less. My guess is that will never happen.
You could ask the seller to pay and or all costs, including pest inspections, appraisal, title, escrow, lender, etc...
Closing costs are probably way less than you think. I have found most buyers consider building an impound account to pay their own taxes and insurance a cost and think the lender is charging them or has control over those costs, but that's not the case. You should know the difference between closing costs and settlement costs.
Our total lender cost is $1,175......no discount buy down fees and no origination fee. One of the lowest around. Any other fee in the loan is from some other party involved in the transaction. If you want to buy the rate down you can.
There are four ways to pay lender, title, escrow, notary fees and even pay your property taxes and home owners insurance.
1. You can pay out of pocket
2. Have seller pay
3. Receive a lender credit and use that to pay CC's. (we give 1-2% lender credit quite often)
4. Qualify for a closing cost assistance program
I even show my borrowers the actual rate sheet so they know exactly how much rebate or credit there is involved in a mortgage rate.
I'm a big believer in complete transparency...it's why I blog.
Give me call if you want to take a peek behind the curtain and see how lenders make money, how loan officers get paid and how you can get your lender to pay a large portion of your closing costs.