is it reasonable for a seller to ask for a breakdown of the closing cost that a buyer is asking them to pay.?

Asked by Joanne60, Chicago, IL Sat Jul 24, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Joe Sheehan, Agent, Exton, PA
Mon Jul 26, 2010
Probably, the buyer doesn't have a breakdown of specific charges they are asking the seller to pay. In my experience, it goes something like this:

The buyer's agent prepares an estimate of closing costs prior to crafting an offer.

Buyer: "Wow, we didn't expect the closing costs to be so expensive. That's really going to pinch us in the bank account after settlement.

Buyer's Agent: "Well, maybe we can ask the seller to help pay for some or all of your closing costs. We'll ask for a seller assist which is usually a percentage of the purchase price and that way your costs are taken from the seller's proceeds."

Buyer: "Okay, I hope they'll agree"

The buyer doesn't typically ask for specific line items to be compensated. Seller's assists are usually a percentage of the bottom line.

All charges to the buyer and seller are disclosed on the HUD-1 at settlement. I can't think of why the buyer's estimate of closing costs should be kept secret from the seller but if the seller insists on seeing it and the buyer refuses, the seller;s agent can easily create an estimate of buyer's closing costs that will probably be pretty close.

To Robin Silverberg's point and also in my experience, most sellers are primarily concerned and negotiate for the "net proceeds to seller". Usually the details of the buyers side on the buyers side of the HUD-1 are inconsequential.

Good Luck. I hope that helps.

Joe Sheehan
RE/Max Professional Realty Inc.
Exton, PA 19341
(610) 363-8444
0 votes
Gita Bantwal, Agent, Jamison, PA
Mon Jul 26, 2010
. In Pa If you receive an offer on your home the agent gives the seller a seller's net sheet so it would show the closing costs for seller and seller assist if any. The buyer may ask for an amount towards closing costs approved by lender.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Erica Ramus,…, Agent, Pottsville, PA
Sun Jul 25, 2010
Robin, your statement "Also, it is customary for the buyer to pay any transfer tax due on the seller's concession." is not true in Pennsylvania. It is not a blanket statement you can make. Perhaps that's how it happens in your neck of the woods but not where I am in Pennsylvania.
0 votes
Robin Silver…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Garden City, NY
Sun Jul 25, 2010
What the buyer is really offering you is the net you will receive after deducting the closing costs. That is the only figure you have to keep in mind, and know whether you are comfortable selling the home at that number. Keep in mind that the lender will limit the seller's concession to either 3 or 6%, and if the true costs are less than that, you get the money, they do not. It doesn't matter if they want to use the money for the actual title costs, or to buy down their rate. That is not really your concern, the amount you will end up with is the important thing for you.
When I speak to buyers about a seller's concession, I tell them to make the deal on the house first, then ask to add the seller's concession, rather than to offer a price and say "We want you to pay 'X' amount in closing costs." This way the seller is happy (relatively speaking) because they know up-front exactly what they are getting. Also, it is customary for the buyer to pay any transfer tax due on the seller's concession.
0 votes
Scott Miller, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Sun Jul 25, 2010
Hi Joanne. When you're buying or selling a home, I can't think of too many questions that are unreasonable to ask! Real estate transactions involve large amounts of monies from both sides. You have every right to ask these questions, DO NOT be shy nor embarrassed.

Now I'm going to ask you the most important question of all: do you have a real estate attorney representing you? If not, go hire one now for your closing.


Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
0 votes
Tom and Joan…, Agent, Boston, MA
Sun Jul 25, 2010

It is absolutely reasonable, but not a question the buyer has to answer. They may have a legitimate reason for this number or may just like the number. The question that I would ask is how does their closing costs effect your bottom line. If your getting what you need from the transaction then move forward and get the deal done. This is a tough market and buyers are tough to come by. Best
0 votes
James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Sun Jul 25, 2010
Joanne I always ask the title company I deal with to star the items that are seller paid but would be normal buyer costs. As a Realtor® I am familiar with the break down of fees but it helps to put both the buyer and seller at ease knowing that the numbers are right.
0 votes
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Jul 24, 2010
Not typical, but also not unreasonable....especially if the buyer closing costs appear to be out of line with reasonable and customary closing costs for that area.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Alan Openshaw, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Southampton, PA
Sat Jul 24, 2010
Hello Joanne60.

It is unusual....but the title company will provide that breakdown at settlement. I would ask the title company to break it down for them.


Alan Openshaw
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Selling in Volant Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more