Most things in a real estate transaction are negotiable. You can haggle over the agents’ commissions, the money put aside for repairs, the amount of time you have to get your loan approved—anything that’s in a contract is up for discussion.
Who pays the closing costs for your mortgage loan and the amount of those costs are things you can discuss as well. Here are strategies to try to reduce your expenses.
See if the seller will pay
If you’re buying a home, it’s common to ask that the seller pay all or part of your closing costs. The seller may consider such an expense a cost of doing a real estate transaction, or he may contribute toward your closing in exchange for an adjustment to the purchase price. Either way, he assumes responsibility for the imminent charge at closing. Even if you’ve agreed to a higher sales price in return for the closing costs, you get to spread that bill over the mortgage term.
Did you ask the real estate agent?
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, real estate commissions are negotiable. If your transaction went smoothly and required little effort from the agent, it’s reasonable to see if you can get him or her to credit part of the commission to you. This arrangement might be more palatable if you’re buying and selling using the same agent.
Talk about the fees
Lenders charge several fees, and not all of them are negotiable. But you may be able to reduce some costs, depending on your mortgage loan and which fees are being set by the lender. A good strategy is to discuss each of them in person and understand what they include.
Any of these might improve the bottom line on your loan closing, but be aware that there may be limits on how many credits you can accept. Other than that, it behooves you to negotiate the best financial deal for yourself that you can make.