Are there deals being accepted where the seller is asking the buyer for the 3% down?

Asked by DeeDee Hahs, Blaine, WA Fri Mar 5, 2010

I watched a First Time Buyers tv program where the buyer asked the seller to pay the 3% down payment plus 3% closing costs along with their offer. It was accepted, and I'm wondering if this is something just for 1st time buyers, or if anyone could place an offer with these terms?

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Rudy McDowell, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Sat Mar 6, 2010
Hi, DeeDee

FHA buyers, first time or not, are now required to have a minimum of 3.5% of their own funds in the transaction. This down payment can come from a family member or local recognized non profit organization (i.e. your church) as a gift, but it can't be paid for by anyone else---including and especially the seller. Those days are long gone and possibly never to return.
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Robert and D…, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Fri Mar 5, 2010
Hi DeeDee,

There is no problem with the seller paying 3% of the closing costs - in most cases our customers ask the sellers to pay between 4 and 6% depending on the price of the home.

But… the seller will not be able to pay for the buyers down payment.

The majority of our customers are still using FHA financing, which requires 3 1/2% down, but remember that the down payment can come in the form of a "gift" - maybe you have a generous friend or family member?

The Low Down...

If you are interested and can qualify, there are still some programs that allow for a very small or no down payment.

The USDA program is zero down, but only applies to rural properties in specific areas. VA financing is another option if you happen to be a veteran. There are also programs like Access that only require 1/2% down, but we haven't had much luck with them.

We hope this helps some.


Robert and Dawn
0 votes
Matthew Bart…, Agent, Glendora, CA
Fri Mar 5, 2010
Hi DeeDee Hahs,

You as the buyer can make whatever offer you choose. Your Realtor will help you to determine the current market value of the home with the help of a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). That being said, the seller will decide if your offer is acceptable as is or if a Counter Offer is needed. Keep in mind that every market & every seller's reason (motivation) to sell is also different.

In my market, wheather the home is a standard sale, bank owned home or short sale you will find it very difficult to get your offer accepted with these terms. Your Realtor will be able to assist you in putting together a competitive offer that you're happy with and that gives you the best possible chance of getting accepted and that is ultimately what you want. Good luck!

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Barbara Van…, , Folsom, CA
Fri Mar 5, 2010
A complete NO NO in this market! Down payment can not come from a person who is a party to the transaction.

FHA allows 3.5 percent down payment in the form of a gift from relatives.
Conventional financing allows 20 percent down to be gifted when the loan amount is conforming.

0 votes
Richard Mals…, , Fresno, CA
Fri Mar 5, 2010
That would be new to me. Asking for 3% of closing cost is pretty standard in my neck of the woods, but I've never had anyone ask for the down payment too.
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