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6 min read Feb 22, 2023

Who Pays For Closing Costs When Selling A House By Owner?

Cover - Who Pays for Closing Cost

Selling FSBO helps home sellers save thousands of dollars. However, evading closing costs is impossible.

Closing costs in a For Sale By Owner sale are borne by either the home seller or buyer.

Even after choosing For Sale By Owner, sellers incur closing costs to complete the home sale. For Sale By Owner closing costs range from around 2% to 5% of the home’s total sale price.

Closing Cost Definition

Closing costs are the over and above costs incurred on the total home sale amount. The title transfer between the buyer and the seller is called “closing.”

These costs are negotiated between the buyer and the seller at the time of the home sale. A few closing costs, such as property taxes, are split between the buyer and the seller.

For Sale By Owner Closing Costs

When you sell your house without a realtor, you are eliminating third-party involvement in your home sale. This leads to a saving on the 5%-6% agent’s commission. But, you also have to look into the other costs due at the time of closing. Such other costs are For Sale By Owner closing costs.

FSBO closing costs form an important and negotiable part of the real estate transaction. Real estate websites like provide closing cost calculators to help buyers and sellers with an approximate closing cost.

Does Buyer or Seller Pay Closing Costs?

It is commonly believed that buyers are responsible for paying the closing costs. However, if negotiated, then any of the parties—buyer or seller—could be the closing cost payer.

So, deciding who pays closing costs, buyer or seller, is done the same way as any other real estate transaction. Most of the closing costs are negotiable and can be split between both parties, like property tax, inspection fee, etc.

🏡 Sellers Closing Costs

Does the seller pay closing costs?

Yes. A seller’s closing costs consist of a combination of taxes, fees, and commissions depending on your property location. Usually, the seller pays 8%–10% of the purchase price as closing costs.

    👉 NOTE: When selling For Sale By Owner, the home seller pays both, the listing and the buyer agent’s commission.

How much will I make selling my house?

The profit you make after selling your house mainly depends on the sale price, the agent’s commission, closing costs, and the mortgage due (if any). Calculating how much you will make by selling your house isn’t that difficult. You can use Houzeo’s closing costs calculator to get close to actual results.

» Seller closing costs calculator: Calculate closing costs for your property with Houzeo’s Advanced Closing Costs Calculator.

🏘️ Buyer’s Closing Costs

Does the buyer pay closing costs?

Yes, a buyer pays at least 3%-5% of the purchase price as a mortgage or refinancing closing cost. These costs include down payment, fees, and lender payments. A home buyer also receives a Closing Disclosure which is usually a 5-page document and consists of important aspects of the loan, including the closing costs.

How much can I expect to pay in closing costs?

The payment towards closing costs mostly depends on:

  • One-time costs: attorney fees, transfer taxes, etc.
  • Recurring costs: insurance premiums, etc.

Most of this amount goes to the lender to cover various kinds of mortgage/refinance-related fees and expenses. You can use Houzeo’s closing costs calculator to get near actual results.

» Buyer closing costs calculatorHouzeo’s closing costs calculator helps in determining all the closing costs for buying a house.

Fees Split Between Buyer and Seller

#Fees SplitDescription
1.Title Search and Lenders' Title InsuranceThe title company often manages the property's title and has full access to the ownership record. To protect the lender and the buyer from title disputes, the lender's title insurance and home title search are necessary. The cost of a title search ranges from $75 to $200.

▶️Title Insurance: Watch our detailed video on Title Insurance.
2.Seller ConcessionsA buyer can ask you to pay the cost for particular concessions, including money to cover some repairs in cash, house warranty coverage, or a share of closing fees.
3.Settlement FeeA settlement fee is a cost that the seller incurs against the settlement agent. The title company, escrow company, or attorney charges these fees. It can be negotiated and divided between both parties.
4.Property TaxesThe value of the property tax is dependent on the price of the property. It is paid annually or at the time of a home sale. The buyer is responsible for taxes accruing after the closing date.
5.Owner's Title InsuranceOnce the buyer obtains the title, the owner's title insurance protects them from title controversies. Sellers have to cover a one-time payment for the owner’s policy.

What If I Can’t Afford Closing Costs?

If you are unable to afford your closing costs then you should consider the below mentioned

1. Negotiate loan-specific fees: There are several costs you can request your lender to reduce. For instance, your lender may waive your loan origination and application fees.

2. Plan the closing for the end of the month: Prepaid daily interest rates are reduced by having the closing date be near the end of the month. A lender can assist you in calculating the potential savings.

3. Seek Seller Concessions: You can either ask your seller to reduce the purchase price of the house or cover a part of your closing costs. The seller might accept this request if the house has been on the list for a long time or is with fewer offers.

4. Roll closing costs into your mortgage: Lenders might allow you to add your closing costs into the mortgage amount. This helps in reducing the money to be brought in for closing. But, this will also affect the loan amount by increasing the monthly payments. Use this only as a very last option.

5. Apply for government assistance programs: For first-time home buyers, particularly those with low or moderate incomes or those purchasing in very hard-hit areas, local and state housing commissioners frequently offer special incentives.

Refusal to Pay For Sale By Owner Closing Costs

Sellers have the liberty to refuse to pay for the buyer’s closing costs. Sellers are accountable for paying closing costs of 8%–10%. Buyers might ask sellers for their contribution towards the buyer’s closing costs, and it is optional for the seller to do so.

Both parties have their own specific closing costs, which they are individually liable to pay. If considering any odds, the seller may agree to pay for the buyer’s closing costs as well. However, if negotiations take place, these costs can be split between both parties.

Checkout the Best For Sale By Owner Websites

We have summarized the best paid and free FSBO sites for you.

Reviews: America’s Best FSBO Websites

We’ve reviewed the best paid and free For Sale By Owner Websites in 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to cover closing costs?

A mortgage home loan can be planned in four ways to pay closing costs. To pay cash at closing, roll the costs into the loan, increase the interest rate, or do a combination. All these methods cover your closing costs.

2. Can closing costs be included in loan?

Closing costs are added to your new mortgage total when you include them in your loan, often known as "rolling them in." Your closing costs may also be financed in this situation. A "no-cost refinance" is how lenders may describe it. Even if you finance your closing fees, you still have to pay them.

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