Great questions. Before I get started, welcome in advance to Utah! I love it here. Great place to live.
Closing Costs - Title insurance, Property taxes, recording fees, etc, generally add up to be about 3% of the purchase price of the home. If the purchase price is higher, that percentage can be lower, and visa versa. That is the buyers responsibility. However many buyers who are short in funds, or wanting to conserve their savings will ask the seller to pay the costs, and typically, if the total offered price is high enough the sellers will comply.
Agent Comission - The buyers agent commission is paid by the sellers agent from the proceeds of the sale. However, it is becoming common in Utah for the sellers agent to offer a smaller commission than the typical 3%, especially on short sales. So on some properties you could be asked to cover a portion of the commissions. Generally not more than .5%.
The market is very fast here right now. Utah has been ranked by forbes and several other good sources as one of the best places to live in the country. The econony is good, and home prices have risen about 9% in the last year. You will want to have an agent who is FAST at getting you property information, and able to get you to homes before other buyers. I have a six step program that virtually guarentees my buyers of gettuing to most homes before anyone else. Take a look - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_LQi3iVgao&feature=share
Keller WIlliams Realty