Buyer's closing costs: to lower closing costs, can I choose my own Title Insurance Co, appraiser, etc? Are recording fees per state?

Asked by Lisa, Fresh Meadows, NY Sun Mar 11, 2012

Since I am the buyer and responsible for a number of items to pay for at closing, I strongly feel like I should have the right to keep the costs down as much as possible where ever possible. I noticed on the Good Faith Estimate that the cost for recording fee is super high ($7K). Is this a set fee or does it vary state to state? What other costs as the 'buyer' am I able to control?


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Javier Menes…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Melville, NY
Sun Mar 11, 2012
There is a possibility that the GFE you're looking at doesn't reflect the actual title fees. During the beginning of a purchase transaction, the title company hasn't had enough time to create a title bill before your lender has to issue a GFE. What happens often now is that your lender has to estimate the title fees, which obviously can vary from company to company. Because new laws mandate lenders to be as precise as possible with GFEs, or else they are responsible for the fees not you, lenders tend to over estimate costs to protect themselves from having to cover some of your costs. This happens more often then not, also depending on who the lender is and how they go about issuing GFEs, the #s can vary from what they really are.

I would call my attorney and make sure he/she looked at the GFE and go over the numbers with you to make sure they're correct.

Another thing you can do in case the title fees are too high, you can give your lender authorization to order title as oppose to your attorney. Typically their fees tend to be lower because they need to keep closing costs low on their refinance transactions.

Feel free to contact me with any questions. Good luck!

Javier Meneses
Sterling National Bank
1 vote
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sun Mar 11, 2012
Consult with your attorney regarding any questions you may have regarding closing costs and good faith estimate; you can choose a title company, however the lender choose the appraiser....
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Sun Mar 11, 2012
You absolutely can pick your own title company. Tell your attorney you will be doing so.

Appraisers are assigned; nobody involved in the deal can pick.

All other charges are pretty much out of your control.
0 votes
Jacques Ambr…, Agent, Forest Hills, NY
Sun Mar 11, 2012
Generally your attorney will want to choose their own title company. As far as appraiser the bank dictates which appraiser is used, it must be an approved appraiser. Recording fees are per city, and you should check with your attorney about these things to see if there is anything that he can do.
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