The home closing costs that in some cases may be negotiable!

When you apply for a loan, your lender must provide a good-faith estimate of fees due at closing.

This is a very useful tool, but bear in mind these are estimates—not guarantees. Compare the GFE to the final closing costs statement and the HUD-1 settlement statement to look for big differences.

Some fees are generated by third parties and typically don’t change very much, no matter where you find your loan. Then there are additional expenses you can’t control, like taxes and government fees.

Negotiable fees are generally found in the 800s section of the GFE. They may include the following:

  • Title insurance: The lender will recommend one, but you don’t need to accept it. You can shop around, compare fees, and go with the one that suits you best. However, you can’t have this waived.
  • Application fee: Some loans have an application fee. Ask your lender if it will waive or credit this fee toward closing costs.
  • Miscellaneous fees: Ask exactly what these are for, especially if they are high.
  • Courier and mail fees: With almost everything being digital, your lender should provide evidence these fees were necessary.
  • Discount points: These increase your closing costs but reduce your interest rate. If you have discount points and your closing costs are too high, you may want to eliminate them. Talk it over with your lender and be sure to figure out the new monthly mortgage payments if you do.

 

It’s your right to question anything on your HUD-1 and GFE documents, so do ask questions if you believe a cost is too high or doesn’t make sense.

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