Settlement costs for sellers - when should you find out?

Asked by James Wren, Norristown, PA Wed Sep 4, 2013

I am selling my condo with an underwater mortgage and will be paying approx 10k at closing. I have stressed to my agent that I need to know how much I need to pay. I am closing on 18 Sept; is it unreasonable or uncustomary to tell the seller how much they owe two weeks prior to closing, especially given the large amount?

I am always met with "that is out of the norm" or "that is not how it happens usually" when I ask these types of questions to him. I would be interested to see what everyone's opinion is on when they would notify their sellers of these costs (and when I say notify, I don't mean a guesstimate but rather the exact amount they will need).

Thank you all in advance for your time and help!

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Danielle Nic…, Agent, St Louis, MO
Sat Feb 21, 2015
I hope you found the answer you needed, but just in case someone else is looking for the same information... An agent should be able to help estimate your major costs. Unfortunately they are not in charge of your final figures. These are prepared by your closing attorney or title company and cannot be finalized until the buyers figures are prepared. This is usually just a few day before closing. A lender will not usually prepare them sooner because they have to ensure that nothing changes just prior to closing that may affect their interest in the home or the loan.
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Anarumo Group, Agent, Davenport, FL
Sat Feb 21, 2015
You should have had that well before you even listed the property and then as soon as you had a buyer, the agent should give you a revised estimate. Not sure why that didn't happen back then.
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Bobby Daddis, Agent, Conshohocken, PA
Sat Feb 21, 2015
Your agent should give you a good idea based on a projected number the second you list. Then they can send you an updated version once you are under contract to update the original numbers.
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Mariel Gniew…, Agent, Lansdale, PA
Wed Sep 4, 2013
Because of changing rules and guidelines in the mortgage industry, I find that most often you do not find out how much is needed until 3 days or so before closing, especially if you are purchasing a property. However as the seller, your agent should be able to calculate an approximate amount for you. I would never give a seller a guaranteed exact amount, because anything and everything can change right up until the last paper is signed at closing. The title company preparing the settlement sheet will be the best person for you or your agent to contact, since they enter the figures into the sheet. If you are already planning on bringing 10k and the amount you need ends up being less than that, you will receive the difference back via a check cut to you right there at closing. If you are nervous that you will need more than 10k, you and your agent should work together to find out the amount as soon as possible so you can bring more than enough. Always better to bring more than what you will need. The seller costs are pretty standard, so the hold up may be in determining the tax prorations. I would stress to your agent you need a more accurate figure and if they can't help you, contact the title company.
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Christopher…, Agent, Collegeville, PA
Wed Sep 4, 2013
James, In these situations it may be hard to identify exact cost due to the acquisition of tax figures. If the title company representing the buyer is aware of the situation they should be proactive in ordering the certs right away with a rush. Then, they should be able to determine exactly what you will need to bring to closing. However, I would think that you should be getting those figures very soon. I hope all works out for you, my friend.

Chris Nelson
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