Closing CostsGina LaRouche

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Closing Costs are the costs paid by Buyers and Sellers at the closing for various services rendered by the lender, the realtor, the title company, and any other services incidental to the sale. The following are examples of charges to Buyers and Sellers. The lists are examples only. Actual charges will vary.

Buyer costs:
1. Loan Related Costs:

  • Loan application
  • Loan Origination Fee
  • Appraisal Fee
  • Credit report
  • Escrow Account
  • Interest Payment
  • Mortgage Broker fees
  • Mortgage Insurance Premium
  • Escrow Fee’s
  • Points (optional)
  • Intangible Tax -There is a tax on all mortgages in Florida. This tax is called and intangible tax. The tax levied is $2.00 per $1,000. (.002 x mortgage amount) This is a one time tax levied upon creation and recording of a mortgage instrument. http://www.sarasotaclerk.com/default382e.html?Page…
  • State Doc Stamps on Mortgages – The State of Florida also levies doc Stamps on all obligations to pay money. This of course applies to mortgages. The Doc Stamp fee is equal to $0.35 for each $100.00 of value or $3.50 per $1,000.00. (.0035 x amount) https://www.deeds.com/recorder/florida/sarasota/ http://www.sarasotaclerk.com/default382e.html?Page…
  • Title Insurance – If you are financing your purchase, your lender will require that you purchase title insurance insuring the mortgage given at the closing. Title Insurance Calculator: https://ortratecalculator.oldrepublictitle.com/(S(… A simultaneous policy can be issued insuring the buyer (Usually for $250-500 more). The policy will protect the buyer and lender from:
  1. False impersonation of a seller or other persons previously in title;
  2. Forgery and fraud;
  3. Improperly executed Deeds;
  4. Deeds executed without a required spouse’s signature;
  5. Undisclosed heirs or descendants of former owners of your property;
  6. Survey matters; and
  7. Liens appearing after closing but prior to recording of instruments.

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Buyers Title Fee’s:

  • Home Inspection fee’s – between $375 to $550 (2017)
  • Four Point Inspection – this is usually combined with Wind Mitigation cost approx: $125-200 and done at same time as Home Inspection.
  • Wind Mitigation Report – Required by Insurance company
  • Homeowner’s Insurance (must be prepaid either minimum 3months to one year at closing) – Quote required or use Sellers insurance company
  • Flood & Hazard Insurance – Check Fema/County Flood Zone
  • Rental/Tenant Insurance – if Investment Property
  • Courier fees
  • Wire fee’s
  • Closing Agent or Attorney’s fee – approx. $395 to $700 (2017)
  • Title search – approx $65-95
  • Transfer Taxes & County Recording Fee’s – the deed must be recorded in the official records of the county in which the property is located. The recording fees are $10.00 for the first page of a document and $8.50 for each additional page. Most Deeds are less than 2 pages. The average Mortgage is 16 to 30 pages. (Manatee costs: https://www.manateeclerk.com/Departments/Recording…) (Sarasota County Costs: http://www.sarasotaclerk.com/how-do-i/look-up/fee-schedule ) for example in Sarasota:
Documentary Stamps
a. Deeds: Documentary stamps must be placed on any deed or other like instrument conveying any interest in real property (land) at the rate of 70 cents per $100.00 property valuation.A 70 centstamp must be placed on any gift of property or any deed with a property valuation of less than $100.00.
b. Mortgages: Mortgage Modifications: Documentary stamps must be placed on these instruments at the rate of 35 cents per $100.00 consideration.
  • Property Taxes – This is the one closing cost that is often prorated between the buyer and seller. If the seller has already paid the annual property taxes, the buyer typically reimburses the seller for the period in which the buyer will be occupying the property. Likewise, if the taxes have not yet been paid, the seller typically reimburses the buyer for the period in which the buyer occupied the property.
  • Survey. Evidences whether the property has been altered. If the property is in a flood zone, an elevation certificate will also be required. The price of a survey can vary depending on the size and location of the property but typical ranges from $400 to $800.

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Seller costs:

  • Title Examination or Search Fee: Prior to closing on a home, a search of the public records must be done to look for outstanding liens, judgements, and unsatisfied mortgages. This is to ensure that there are no claims made against the property.  The fees associated with a title examination run between $200-400. A chain of title is also performed during the title examination.  A chain of title looks back throughout the history of the property, from the current owner to the original owner.  This is to verify that ownership was transferred correctly to each new owner.   A seller should be delivering a property to the new buyer free of any liens and judgments.  We call this a marketable title.
  • Municipal Lien Serach Fee: to search Municipal data basis for any outstanding liens from others: vendors or utilities against the property.
  • Real Estate Broker fees – standard 6% of Selling Price.
  • Repairs – if negotiated in contract and completed
  • State Doc Stamps on Deeds – The State of Florida levies a tax on all deeds. The Doc stamp Tax is equal to $0.70 for each $100 of value or $7.00 per $1,000.00. (.0070 x amount) – Documentary stamp tax or also known as excise tax, imposed by the state of Florida is charged to the seller upon transfer of ownership.  The amount you pay depends on how much you sold your home for and what county the home is located in.
  • Loan Payoff – balance of your mortgage owing to lender
  • Loan payoff fee’s – set by the Lender
  • Title Defects – Any costs associated with clearing title defects. These costs may include obtaining and recording documents such as Affidavits, Satisfactions or Releases.
  • Line of Credit: If you have a line of credit, that usually has to be paid off in addition to your primary mortgage. If the lender that provided you with the line of a credit has attached a lien to your property, that lien must be satisfied at the time of closing
  • Escrow Fee’s – if Any
  • Property taxes, prorated to title transfer – Property taxes in Florida are paid in arrears (1 year behind).  The bills are sent in November.  That tax bill is for last year taxes.  So, when you go to sell your home, you pay up until the time that you owned your home.  For instance, if you are closing on the sale of your home on July 30th, you will be paying from January 1st to July 29th.  The buyer is purchasing your home on July 30th and is the rightful owner on that day, so they start to assume taxes.  You will be crediting the buyer taxes that you didn’t pay to the state from January to July 29th.  That amount is credited to the buyer at closing.
  • Closing Agent or Attorney’s fee – approx. $400 to $800 (2017) – This is a fee that is charged by the title company or Closing Attorney as a cost of closing the transaction.  This fee can vary between title companies/Attorney’s offices depending upon where you are located. This fee can be split between the buyer and seller OR totally paid by the buyer or by the Seller.  So, this may be an expense that you might pay. This is clarified in your purchase agreement and negotiated as such. In most regions, it comes down to local customs on who pays this fee.
  • Courier fee – In addition to paying off your mortgage, there will be a fee to overnight or wire the payoff to the lender(s). Depending on how many mortgages you are paying off, you can expect to be charged between $50-$75 per payoff.
  • Buyer credits – these are Credits that a Seller may give a Buyer in the Purchase Agreement, that are itemized at closing.
  • Estoppel Fee’s – set by your HOA
  • Repair Costs: paid out of escrow
  • Home Warranty Fees: Some sellers may offer a home warranty on their home.  This can be a benefit to a seller if some of the major components of the home are past their useful life, such as the air conditioner or water heater.  This is a totally optional expense but may separate you from other sellers in your marketplace and give you a competitive advantage.  Depending on which company you choose and coverage, a one-year policy can run $375-$600
  • VA Loans Pest Inspection: Some loans require the seller to pay for the pest inspection.  For example, a VA loan currently requires the seller to pay for the pest inspection.  A pest inspection usually runs between $100-$150.


Actual closing costs will vary from one transaction to another. You may not need to courier documents, and you may not be paying for repairs at all, or through escrow. And not all Buyers ask for credits from the Seller at closing. When buying a home in Sarasota County, you will receive a “Good Faith Estimate” (GFE) of closing costs within three days of submitting your loan application. The estimate is based on the loan officer’s prior experience and is required to be within an acceptable range so you’re not stunned when you arrive at the closing appointment. Lenders must give Buyers a “Good Faith Estimate” when they apply for a loan. The Good Faith Estimate is broken down into sections. The 800 and 1100 sections are the ones to concentrate on when you compare costs. The 800 section denotes the lender fees. For example, 801 is the loan origination fee, 804 is the credit report fee, and 808 is often the broker’s fee. The 110s contain title fees. If you see “administrative” or “doc prep” or “miscellaneous”, you should question it.


Foreign Owners:
How will a U.S. real estate purchase affect my taxes?
A foreign property owners’ tax liability in his home country will vary depending upon where the purchaser is from and whether that country has a tax treaty with the United States. Consult a tax attorney familiar with your home country’s treaty to get answers to tax-related questions. The United States government requires that foreign nationals pay U.S. income taxes (state and federal) on any net income (rental revenues less expenses) received from rental property. If tax returns are not filed in a timely fashion, a tax of 30 percent of the gross rental income may be assessed. Even if you’re incurring losses in the early years of your investment and you don’t owe any taxes to the government, you still must file your tax returns in a timely manner or be subject to financial penalty.

Foreign Sellers:
Foreign real property owners are subject to certain withholding requirements when selling their U.S. property. In a real estate transaction involving a foreign seller, the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (“FIRPTA”) requires ten percent of the gross sales price be withheld from the sales proceeds received at closing. This withholding is remitted to the Internal Revenue Service as a deposit on the income tax liability generated from the sale. When the actual tax resulting from the sale is reported on the seller’s tax return, the withholding will be applied and the seller will either remit a sum to satisfy the outstanding balance or will receive a refund of any excessive withholding.

The withholding requirement does not apply to sales of real property that do not exceed $300,000 if the purchaser intends to make personal use of the property as a residence for at least fifty percent of the time the property is in use, for at least two consecutive years following the date of purchase. This exception is not available to business entities, trusts, or the sale of unimproved property.

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Other Important Questions:

Q. As a cash purchaser do I need a survey and title insurance?
A. Although neither a survey nor title insurance are required under Florida law, we highly recommend that you obtain both. Title insurance is paid only once (unlike most types of insurance) and remains effective for the entire time that you own your property.


Q. What is a 1031 Exchange and under what circumstances may a seller benefit from one?
A. A 1031 exchange is a vehicle under the Internal Revenue Code that allows a seller to use the proceeds from the sale of investment property for the purchase of replacement investment property. As long as the rules are strictly adhered to, the procedure allows a seller to defer the payment of capital gains taxes.

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On average the buyer typically is responsible for paying for the title search and insurance, legal fees and recording fees, amounting to an additional 1 percent to 2.50 percent of the total cost of the transaction. For example: On a $300,000 home, that amounts to another $3,000 to $7,000.


Great Legal Q & A regarding closings:
http://www.sarasotaclosings.com/Real-Estate-FAQ.sh…

HUD (US Department of Housing and Development)
HUD Closing Guide 2015