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17 min read Jan 21, 2023

Seller Closing Costs in Illinois: ALL You Need to Know

Seller Closing Costs in Illinois

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the finish line.

Closing on a home can be one of the most exciting moments as a seller, but it can also be stressful if you aren’t prepared. Illinois is one of the most expensive states regarding closing costs.

What are Closing Costs in Illinois?

Key Takeaways

  • Closing costs, also known as “settlement costs,” are the final expenses to complete the real estate transaction.
  • Closing costs are separate from the price of the property.
  • The seller and the buyer have to pay specific closing costs.
  • Typically, in Illinois the closing process is managed by an escrow company.
  • Due to different fees and statute requirements, closing costs vary in municipalities and states.

  • 💰 CALCULATE YOUR CLOSING COSTS

Who Pays Closing Costs in Illinois?

Both the buyer and seller pay the closing costs. The estimated seller closing costs for Illinois could reach up to 8% to 10% of the final sale price of the home. This includes the commission of the listing and buyer’s agent.

As a seller, you can negotiate some closing costs with the homebuyer. However, you must pay closing costs like taxes charged by your state or local jurisdiction. They are non-negotiable.

Most of the closing costs for seller in Illinois will be deducted from the proceeds you get from the property. As such, you need enough equity to cover some of the expenses.

A real estate agent in IL will know who typically pays what for the closing costs in your local area. So, it’s important to seek professional advice. Hiring an experienced agent can help reduce your closing costs.

How Much are Closing Costs in Illinois?

The closing cost in Illinois for sellers is approximately 8%–10% of the home’s agreement value.

Let’s put this in perspective! The typical home value in Illinois is $267,321. So, if you are selling a house in California, you may have to pay $21,000 to $26,000 as closing costs.

What are the Typical Closing Costs for Seller in Illinois?

1. Attorney’s Fee

Sellers usually hire real estate attorneys to draft documents like Illinois real estate disclosures and review contracts, especially when no real estate brokers are involved or there are any legal issues with the property. However, you can hire a real estate attorney in Illinois even if your case is not unusual.

In most cases, the seller and buyer hire different attorneys to represent their best interests. However, if you and the buyer decide to hire the same attorney, the attorney fee will be split.

Typically, the average attorney fee for house closing in Illinois is $200-$300 per hour.

2. Credits Towards Closing Costs

You can offer to help buyers with closing costs to make the property more attractive, especially if you live in an area where market competition is low. These costs are called closing credits or seller concessions and are paid at closing.

You can also negotiate concessions with homebuyers if a requirement for repairs arises after the inspection. This may help you save some money on the costs of repair.

» How Much are Closing Costs in Illinois for Buyer: Here is a detailed breakdown of buyer closing costs in Illinois.

3. Documentary Stamp

The documentary stamps refer to the excise tax levied on the documentation that transfers the property from you to the buyer. It is like paying tax on a property deed or some other official documentation.

4. Escrow Fee

An escrow is a neutral third party that holds certain funds or the property until the contract conditions have been met. It protects the interest of both parties by ensuring that either does not wrongfully back out of the deal and lose money. Typically, the escrow charges in Illinois will be split between the buyer and you as both parties benefit from it.

You should budget 1%-2% of the purchase price for escrow fee, depending upon the circumstances of their sale.

5. Home Inspection Fee

You can opt for a real estate inspection in IL to identify any major defects and issues in the house. These may include plumbing issues, water damage, mold, appliance malfunction, etc. You can choose to resolve the defects identified by the IL home inspector can be done before the property is listed on the market (pre-inspection) or just before the closing.

In Illinois, it is mandatory for the seller to disclose any known issues and defects with the property per law. Some of these are:

  • Structural defects: The buyer must be informed about leaking roofs, loose masonry, foundational cracks, etc.
  • Factors that pose health risks: You must disclose the presence of asbestos, lead paint, etc., to the buyer. However, Illinois law does not mandate radon testing and identifying the presence of mold.
  • Soil problems: You must identify any issues related to the foundation of the home that could potentially render the house inhabitable. This includes underground pits, mines, or other instability.
  • Flood risk: You must provide a list of flooding instances and water damage caused by pipe leaks, broken sewer lines, leaking roof, etc.
  • Pest infestation: You must also offer a list of any previous or current infestations of termites or other wood-boring insects.
  • Utility defects: You must list defects such as malfunctioning heating and air conditioning systems, damaged lighting fixtures, faulty wiring, leaky ventilation systems, etc.

The buyer can also undertake a home inspection. However, if they find undisclosed defects, it might give them the upper hand during negotiations, or they may back out of the deal.

» What is the Cost of a Home Inspection in Illinois: Home inspection is a crucial part of a real estate transaction. Find out more.

6. Home Warranty Fee

A home warranty covers the maintenance cost of the devices and appliances in the house for a limited time period, like, days, months, or years. You may offer a home warranty to make the property more desirable for buyers.

7. Homeowner Association(HOA) Fee/ Document Fee

If you are a part of the Homeowners Association(HOA), you will have to pay the fee due until the closing date and clear the remaining dues, if any. In most cases, you will not be able to close on the house until the dues are paid.

However, if the issue persists and is not resolved before closing, the HOA can place a lien on your house and even initiate foreclosure.

8. HOA Estoppel Fee

The HOA Estoppel letter is a legally binding document containing details about the financial obligations like the monthly or annual fee, that the buyer will have to pay after closing. It also offers information about any unresolved dues you may owe.

The HOA Estoppel fee needs to be paid by you as part of the process. It ranges from $200-$500.

9. HOA Transfer Fee

If you are a part of the Homeowners Association, at the time of closing, the ownership of your house needs to be transferred to the buyer in HOA records. HOA transfer fee is a one-time non-negotiable charge that you pay the HOA to update their records.

10. Mortgage Payoff

Mortgage payoff will most likely be one of the biggest items on your list of fees. You’ll have to pay off any remaining balance of the mortgage on your property with the proceeds of your home sale at closing. This includes interest accrued from the last payment to the day of closing and any penalty the lender might charge you for prepayment of the mortgage.

Contact your lender and discuss the requirements to pay off the mortgage to get the overall details of your closing costs. Also, check for the loan documents if there’s any prepayment penalty with your mortgage.

11. Municipal Lien Search

A Municipal Lien Search can help you uncover any unrecorded liens, code violations, permits, taxes, and utility bills, associated with the property. While many sellers forego a municipal lien search, it can complement a title search, especially since it offers additional information about open or expired permits.

An open or expired permit can be a thorn in the side for both you and the buyer as it can lead to further expenses and delays in the sale. On average, a municipal lien search costs $200.

12. Owner’s Title Insurance

The title insurance rates in Illinois are based on the property value and are decided by the state. Illinois does not have any slabs or price brackets for the title policy. If the price of your property ranges from $0-$170,000, you will have to pay a minimum of $1,700 for the owner’s policy. If your property is valued at more than $170,000, the price of the policy will increases by $20 for every $10,000.

If the price of the property is more than $1M, the policy price will increase by $2 for every $1,000.

There are two types of title insurance in IL, owner’s and lenders. Primarily, you, the seller, will pay for the owner’s title insurance to protect the buyer against discrepancies relating to the ownership of the property or false documentation. Additionally, title insurance takes care of any back taxes, liens, ownership clauses, etc.

Both parties can negotiate who purchases the owner’s title insurance.

» Who Pays for Owner’s Title Insurance in Illinois: Find out if owner’s title insurance is a necessary purchase for you.

13. Property Tax

While there is no set rate, with a statewide average of 2.16%, Illinois has the second highest property tax in the U.S. This is because some Illinois counties and municipalities impose their own real estate taxes in addition to the state taxes.

You must pay prorated property tax according to the date of purchase at closing.

14. Real Estate Broker Commission

The agent’s commission is the biggest chunk of the cost you need to pay. However, it’s negotiable and typically paid from the proceeds of your house sale. Likewise, don’t forget to contact your agent to negotiate the fees. In total, you are expected to pay the real estate agent commission that ranges from 4% to 6% (listing agent commission + buyer’s agent commission which costs 2% to 3% of the total sales price).

To put this in perspective, as per the current median home value in Illinois of $260,000, you may have to spend $13,000-$15,600 in commission.

If you want to avoid paying hefty commissions, you can list your property for a flat fee or with no commission at all! Choosing FSBO (For Sale by Owner) and listing your home with an Illinois Flat Fee listing plan can help you save more. What’s more, you pay zero realtor commission if your buyer has no agent.

» How to Sell Your House By Owner in Illinois: Everything you NEED to know to sell your house without a realtor in Illinois.

15. Recording Fee

A recording fee is paid to the local government to register the change in ownership of a house or sale of a property in the public record. It also records mortgages and other liens against the house. Recording fee is usually charged by the county.

16. Transfer Tax

The transfer taxes in Illinois are generally paid by the seller. However, you can negotiate this expense with the buyer. The typical transfer tax rate in Illinois is $0.50 per $500, or $500 per $100,000 of property value. In addition to this, counties may apply an additional tax of $0.25 per $500.

17. Utility Bills

You must pay all utility bills till the date of purchase of the house. The title company usually checks for unpaid bills and utility liens. If there are any dues, you must clear them at closing.

How to Reduce Closing Costs in Illinois?

1. Opt for a discount broker or a flat fee realtor.

Compared to traditional brokers who charge 6% of the sales price as commission, discount real estate brokers in Illinois only charge 3-4% of the sales price for their services. Some low commission brokers offer higher concessions if you let them represent you as buyer’s agents for your next real estate purchase.

2. Choose “For Sale By Owner”(FSBO).

Sellers can save up to 3% commission and cut several costs by opting for “Homes For Sale By Owner Illinois” services. Houzeo offers Flat Fee MLS packages for FSBO sellers in Illinois that list properties on the MLS and make the selling process easier and smoother. What’s more, if the buyer is unrepresented, with Houzeo, sellers can sell their homes for zero realtor commission charge!

» Flat Fee MLS Listing in Illinois: Here is our pick of companies that offer Flat Fee MLS services in Illinois.

3. Research and compare.

You can save more cash on closing costs for sellers, such as the pest inspector or homeowner’s insurance agent, title and escrow companies that are more economical. Browse and ask friends who have already experience hiring one.

4. Negotiate realtor fees.

While traditional real estate brokers in Illinois usually charge 6% of the sale price as commission, this number is not set in stone. You can negotiate the fee with your realtor.

5. Ask the buyer to cover seller closing costs.

Buyers may agree to cover closing costs for sellers if the market is competitive and fewer houses are on the market. Alternatively, you can raise the listing price to cover full or partial closing costs.

Seller Closing Costs Calculator Illinois

Closing costs vary heavily according to location and mortgage rates. Houzeo’s Closing Costs Estimator is a free tool that factors in these elements to help sellers and buyers estimate their closing costs. It shows the user a detailed list of itemized costs and highlights junk costs that can be avoided.

Houzeo’s Closing Cost Calculator is frequently calibrated to give the closest estimated closing costs for seller in Illinois according to market conditions.

» Seller Closing Costs Illinois Calculator: Check your closing costs now!

How Should I Prepare for My Illinois Home Closing?

Your closing agent will schedule a date for your closing. Here’s how to prepare for your closing day.

1. Review Your Closing Documents in Advance

Closing documents should generally be available to you in advance of the scheduled date of closing. Review these documents at length and understand their provisions. Here are some key documents you’ll likely sign at closing:

  • The HUD-1 or Closing Disclosure: If you are taking out a mortgage to purchase a house in Illinois, you’ll get the closing disclosure summarizing the costs in detail. If your transaction is all cash, you may get the HUD-1, although this is less common. These documents detail the amount you’re being charged for, your loan payoffs if any, and the net proceeds you will take to the bank.

Remember, depending on how much equity you have in the property, you might be asked to bring a check (or send a wire) on the closing date. Ensure there are no typos in your name, address, property address, bank info, and other details. Then review every amount and the totals to ensure there are no mathematical errors or inadvertent costs. You’ll be surprised how many times these documents have errors – this is one of the reasons our founder launched Houzeo.

  • The Deed: This document enables the legal transfer of title from the seller to the buyer. Read this document carefully, verifying all details including the legal description of the property, the deed book, the deed book page, and the Property Identification Number (PIN), if any.

We know of a case where a home seller sold a $94,000 property, but the deed also legally transferred the 5 other homes they owned worth $680,000 to the buyer. There was a huge scramble post-closing to correct this mistake. It could have been a nightmare for the seller if the buyer didn’t honestly transfer the rest of the properties back to them.

  • Statement of Closing Costs: This statement summarizes all the expenses involved in the transaction. This document is easier to understand vs. the HUD-1/Closing Disclosure, but they should tie.
  • Certificate of Title: This document allows you to state that you have the right to sell the property.

2. Ask Questions

If this is your first time selling a house in Illinois, schedule an appointment with the closing agent before the date of the closing. Prior to that appointment, do your research and ask clarifying questions on anything you have doubts about.

3. Bring TWO Forms of Official ID

There will likely be a licensed notary involved to verify your identity. Take a valid driver’s license or passport for ID. Carry a secondary ID as well, just in case.

Conclusion: Seller Closing Costs in Illinois

Developing an understanding of how much is closing cost in Illinois is important for you as a seller as it can greatly impact your profits. Additionally, it is an important factor in calculating the listing price of a house in Illinois.

Now you’re ready! You might’ve heard horror stories of people being blindsided by high closing costs in Illinois – but that’s often the result of not preparing and educating themselves ahead of time. If you are a Houzeo For Sale By Owner Seller in Illinois, we want you to be one of the most educated home sellers out there. Next step, log on to Houzeo.com and list your home for sale by owner. You’ll be in full control of your listing, and save thousands in the process!

» NEED MORE CLARITY? Read these exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why it is one of the best FSBO sites in America.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do you need a lawyer to sell a house in Illinois?

No. You do not need a lawyer to sell a house in Illinois as per law.

2. Can you claim closing costs on taxes?

Yes. You can claim tax deductions on some closing costs that are considered taxes or insurance.

3. How is closing cost calculated?

Closing costs are a sum of specific settlement expenses. These vary according to the location, mortgage rates, and market conditions. Houzeo's closing cost estimator is a free tool you can use to get a close estimate of their settlement costs.

Resources for Selling Your Home in Illinois

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