You can ask for closing costs and the amounts are limited by FNMA, FHA, etc. There are many factors that determine what the limits are. But primarily it is a matter of structuring the offer. Generally the amount you can use towards closing will be structured as a seller concession. Your agent will negotiate a bottom line sale price with the seller. Then will indicate that you need funds for closing. This will be added to the sale price and credited to you at the closing.
Seller concessions range between 3 and 6 percent of the mortgage depending on the amount of your down payment. There is more flexibility with an FHA loan for closing costs. These are issues you should discuss with your bank or mortgage broker if your agent is not familiar with financing terms.
It appears that you have not done this yet. If your seriously looking for a home you must speak with a lender immediately. They will help you determine how much of a mortgage you qualify for, credit score and interest rates, estimated closing costs and which type of mortgage makes the most sense for you. They will also be able to answer all your financing questions. Once your questions have been answered ask the lender to get you pre-approved. This will save time when you find the right property and having a pre-approval letter will show the seller you are a serious buyer and can afford the home. This will help in the negotiations also.
If I can be of any further assistance regarding this subject please contact me. Also I am available to help you find the right home for you. I have worked in Queens and Nassau Counties for many years.
Century21 Yve R.E.
Licensed R.E. Agent
NYS Certified Residential Appraiser
To answer your question in the most helpful manner, I would need to know exactly what you are asking for.
1. Are you asking the seller to pay for part or all of your closing costs (your attorney fees, the mortgage lender's attorney fees, the points you will pay on your mortgage, title insurance, survey fee, etc.)?
2. Are you asking that the closing costs be merged into the transaction so that they become part of the mortgage - these would be called "seller's concessions"?
3. Are you asking some other question?
Generally the seller will not agree to pay for part or all of your closing costs - the seller has negotiated the price with you based on your paying those fees. However, nothing prevents you from asking for them either in the original negotiation of sale price or thereafter! There is no law that I am aware of that would prevent the seller from paying any sum of money on your behalf - although, if the seller were amenable to such an idea, a cleaner way to handle this situation might be to lower the selling price and you pay the costs associated with the purchase.
As for "seller concessions" (raising the selling price to include your closing fees), your mortgage broker would be in the best position to know whether this would be feasible for you since you would have higher monthly carrying charges for the life of the loan. Of course, the seller would have to agree to this since the increased carrying charges might prevent you from qualifying for the mortgage! In such a case, there are lenders that could get you a commitment within 1 week, before going to contract - this would put the sellers at ease.
I hope I have addressed your issue - if not, please contact me and I will be sure to get back to you right away! I can be reached directly by phone at (516)410-3594 or by email at Arlynn@ArlynnPalmer.com.
In the meantime, please visit my website at http://www.ArlynnPalmer.com where you can find FREE Buyer and Seller Reports, FREE School and Neighborhood Reports, my Monthly Newsletter and other valuable real estate information.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you!
Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving!
Arlynn B. Palmer, ESQ, SRES, CBR, CMS, CNS
Licensed Associate Broker, REALTOR
Coldwell Banker Claire Sobel