The buyer's agent prepares an estimate of closing costs prior to crafting an offer.
Buyer: "Wow, we didn't expect the closing costs to be so expensive. That's really going to pinch us in the bank account after settlement.
Buyer's Agent: "Well, maybe we can ask the seller to help pay for some or all of your closing costs. We'll ask for a seller assist which is usually a percentage of the purchase price and that way your costs are taken from the seller's proceeds."
Buyer: "Okay, I hope they'll agree"
The buyer doesn't typically ask for specific line items to be compensated. Seller's assists are usually a percentage of the bottom line.
All charges to the buyer and seller are disclosed on the HUD-1 at settlement. I can't think of why the buyer's estimate of closing costs should be kept secret from the seller but if the seller insists on seeing it and the buyer refuses, the seller;s agent can easily create an estimate of buyer's closing costs that will probably be pretty close.
To Robin Silverberg's point and also in my experience, most sellers are primarily concerned and negotiate for the "net proceeds to seller". Usually the details of the buyers side on the buyers side of the HUD-1 are inconsequential.
Good Luck. I hope that helps.
RE/Max Professional Realty Inc.
Exton, PA 19341
When I speak to buyers about a seller's concession, I tell them to make the deal on the house first, then ask to add the seller's concession, rather than to offer a price and say "We want you to pay 'X' amount in closing costs." This way the seller is happy (relatively speaking) because they know up-front exactly what they are getting. Also, it is customary for the buyer to pay any transfer tax due on the seller's concession.
Now I'm going to ask you the most important question of all: do you have a real estate attorney representing you? If not, go hire one now for your closing.
Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
It is absolutely reasonable, but not a question the buyer has to answer. They may have a legitimate reason for this number or may just like the number. The question that I would ask is how does their closing costs effect your bottom line. If your getting what you need from the transaction then move forward and get the deal done. This is a tough market and buyers are tough to come by. Best