How typical is a request that the seller pays for closing costs of the buyer? All potential buyers for my home in VA have requested this.

Asked by ezfrancis20, Fairfax Station, VA Mon Sep 17, 2012

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Dan Tabit’s answer
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Mon Sep 17, 2012
A buyer asking for closing costs is the same as a buyer asking for a discount. In reality, what they are asking is for them to be able to finance the closing costs by keeping the price that much higher instead of asking for an equal discount.
The question I ask my seller's when this comes up is are you willing to sell the home for the "net" price or not? If the list price is $250,000 and the buyer offers $245,000 and wants $5000 in closing costs to be paid by the seller, it's almost the same as the buyer offering $240,000. If in this example, $240,000 is an acceptable price, consider accepting the offer. You can also counter back at $255,000 with $5000 in closing costs, which is equal to your list price. The only issue with this counter is whether the home will appraise for the $255,000 price; if it does, then you get your list price, the buyer gets to finance the closing costs and everyone is happy.
Because VA is a 0 down program, buyers with very little liquid cash try this to hold onto what they have for savings or moving expenses, but buyer's of all types of loans may request this. It's just another way of receiving a discount to them.
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Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Mon Nov 4, 2013
Very common and good strategy. Some sellers will look at a "full price" offer and not pay enough attention to the "seller pays buyer's closing costs" line. In the end, the seller isn't getting full price, but they think they are, or at least feel like they are. It's also good for neighborhood prices and values, as it will be reported as a higher sale price, rather than taking the closing cost expense off the purchase price....
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Karen Chewni…, Agent, Ocean Springs, MS
Mon Nov 4, 2013
In our current market it is more than typical. It seems to have become the standard. Keep in mind that you are in no way required to do so. But remember this will limit your buyers as most people need assistance with closing costs and pre-paids in this economy. You can always counter a higher purchase price to accommodate the cost difference. It is the out of pocket costs that seem to be the issue in most cases.

Hope this helps
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Damion Flynn, Agent, Saucier, MS
Mon Sep 17, 2012
All items are negotiable in a closing. It is very common for a buyer to request seller to pay for closing costs. It is a way to minimize the amount they have to bring to the closing table. You should discuss options with your agent to counteract this or make it work in your favor.
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Kim Williams, Agent, Ocean Springs, MS
Mon Sep 17, 2012
Very typical. Most buyers need assistance with closing costs.
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