Joanne, Other/Just Looking in 60606

Buyer closing costs (e.g., title insurance, transfer taxes, etc.)???

Asked by Joanne, 60606 Thu Apr 16, 2009

What are the typical closing costs that a buyer is responsible for in Fairfax County, VA? Who pays for transfer taxes and title insurance --- the buyer or the seller? Also, is it typical that buyers have an attorney as well as a broker/agent? I'm moving from Chicago (where I was a home owners) and am familiar with who pays for what there but am looking for a summary in the NOVA area. Thanks!

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Sonal Goda, Agent, Reston, VA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Hi Joanne - it looks like your question has been answered - but please let us know if we missed something.

I thought of one additional thing that might be useful to you if you can make it. I am conducting a home buyer seminar on the evening of Monday, May 4 in Reston. I will be talking about the home buying process in Northern VA and will dedicate a section of the seminar to answering specific concerns from everyone who attends. It would be wonderful if you could make it. Please see the details and RSVP by clicking on Coming Events at

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Vicky Chrisn…, Agent, Purcellvile, VA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Joanne - your best bet is to look at everything in total... most of the buyer related closing costs are from the lender. So, assuming you're financing, be sure you're talking to a local lender and they will include all relevant costs on their Good Faith Estimate.

Once you have an estimate, you can ask for those costs to be paid by the seller in some cases. Sellers will look at what they are netting from the sale, and smart ones would rather have you negotiate off the sales price than to have to pay closing cost assistance. There are a couple reasons for that... let's say you are buying a $100K house (good luck if that is your goal, but this keeps the math easy)... If you are offering $100K and asking for 3% in closing cost assistance, that is a net to seller of $97K minus their normal closing costs, much of which is a % of the sales price - so each charge will be just a little higher - taxes, commission, etc.; and the house has to appraise for $100K. Appraisals are getting crazy these days, so any seller would be nervous about that. On the other hand, if you are offering $97K and paying your own closing costs, some of their closing costs will be a bit lower AND the house only has to appraise for $97K. Make sense?

Play through all the options with a real estate agent. I work in most of Fairfax County, so if I can help you, feel free to call on me!

To educate you a bit about our market, please refer to this popular post:…

Also, there is some information about current stats and trends:…

For a list of trusted local lenders, please look on the Service Provider page on my web site.

Best of luck and hope to hear from you soon!!
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Monika Kumar, Agent, Reston, VA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Dear Joanne, - You can download a lot more but I am positive this will help you ..We are DC Metro specialist please see if info is helpful..

703 626 3327


Understanding Closing Costs
Closing costs will differ in different cities and counties. These costs are typically between 3% to 5 % of your loan amount and encompass the following categories: lenders fees (all expenses relating to the loan process), escrow, external party fees (all expenses paid to skilled/certified professionals like appraisers, contractors, certifiers and insurance professionals), Government or Public fees (towards taxes, deeds and related paperwork and recording information).
Here are the common expenses that make up most of the closing cost: escrow fees, lenders points, title search, insurance, property taxes, agent commissions, appraisal fee, loan origination fee, homeowners insurance policy (prepaid), recording fee, survey fee etc.
Here are some of the common fees that you may come across:
􀂃 ADMINISTRATIVE FEE: This is usually a flat fee that can range between $ 50 and $100.
􀂃 INDEPENDENT APPRAISAL FEE: Find the value of the house you are about to purchase. The fee could range from a low of $ 400 to a high of $ 1200.
􀂃 BROKER FEE: Most brokers will either charge a fee or appropriate part of the interest rate or the processing fee for the services provided.
􀂃 BROKER PROCESSING FEE: This account’s for the cost in processing the file for getting your loan and it may range between $ 400 and $ 500.
􀂃 COURIER FEE: Most lenders use couriers to ensure delivery and signing of contracts and settlements. This fee may be separate, or it may be part of the administration fee.
􀂃 CREDIT REPORT FEE: The lender will run many credit reports to check your credit history. They will then transfer these costs to you, which could be in the range of $ 50 - $ 80.
􀂃 TAX FEE: If the lender hires a tax agency to monitor your tax payments, then you will be charged a fee for it and it could range from $ 40 t0 $ 180.
􀂃 ESCROW FEES: A neutral third party handles an escrow, which is the title company. The role of the title company and the escrow officer is to coordinate the logistics of the sale like financials, paperwork, and bill pay and title record. The charge for these services is called an escrow fee, settlement fee or closing fee.
􀂃 LENDERS POINTS: The lender imposes a charge in connection with the loan. Normally a point is equal to 1 % of the loan amount. A mortgage of $ 150,000 the point would be $ 1,500.
􀂃 LOAN ORIGINATION FEE: This covers the lenders administrative costs.
􀂃 INTEREST ON ESCROW ACCOUNTS: Here are some of the states in which lenders have to pay you interest on escrow accounts: California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Wisconsin and Vermont.
􀂃 OTHER COSTS: Property taxes, interest, recording fee, survey fee, home owners insurance policy for which the receipt is required and title insurance (for you and the lender).
Here is a list of some of the things the buyer can expect to get at the closing. This information is based on the HUD –1 form (Source – The US Department of Housing and Urban Development)
􀂃 Truth-in-lending statement
􀂃 Mortgage note
􀂃 Mortgage or deed of trust
􀂃 Binding sales contract
􀂃 Keys to the new home
Note: This report is meant to be a general reference guide. Local practices within your county and area may differ. For specific information on the closing costs in your county, please email me with the details of the location or contact a local title company.
Ask your lender for a detailed estimate of closing costs. For a list of estimates and approximate range of closing costs, please refer to the table below:
Administrative fee
$ 300
Application fee
$ 200
Appraisal fee
$ 250
Mortgage brokers fee
$ 150
Credit report fee (more than one source)
$ 50 - $ 80
Lender fees (misc)
$ 300
Tax service fee
$ 40 - $ 180
Escrow fees
Depends on the title company and the services provided
Title insurance fees
$ 600
Depends on the loan amount
Roof, pool, pest and other property inspection
$ 300 – $ 500
Total may average
$ 3500 + agent’s fee, attorney’s fee, transfer taxes, etc which may then equal
$ 5000 (for a $ 150000 mortgage)

"All information in this report is deemed reliable but not guaranteed."
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Cindy Jones, Agent, Alexandira, VA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
In our current market you should be able to get a large percentage of the normal closing costs covered by a seller subsidy. The items that Glenda listed are typical. If you move to a neighborhood with a home owners association there may be some funds associated with transfering your name on the HOA records. Usually that is only $50 but in some larger HOA's it can be up to $500.
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Glenda Cherry, Agent, Herndon, VA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
In Northern Virginia, it's not typical that the buyer have an attorney for closing unless there are special circumstances ... the settlement company usually has an affilliation with a law firm that handles the deed and any other legal documents. As to the costs that are paid by the buyer at closing, they include:
settlement/closing fee;
escrow funding;
title search/title exam/title insurance binder;
wiring/overnight fees;
state/county recording fees;
state/count tax/stamps;
title insurance (lender's and owner's);
other reserves for escrow as required by the lender.

The seller pays the grantor's tax, the commission, settlement fees, etc. There may also be other charges for taxes and/or homeowners dues unpaid/paid by the current owner.

If you need more detailed information, please feel free to contact me.
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