Homebuyers looking to save money will try to buy without an agent and deal directly with the seller’s broker, but beware, they feed on your weaknesses, ignorance, fear, and money.
Recently my fiancee and I were making offers on a house. As part of the negotiations we tried to see if the seller would cover the closing costs. The seller’s broker, who up until this point had been really cool and on the level, asked which costs we were talking about. I mentioned transfer tax. NYC charges 1.425% of the sale price, and New York State charges $4 per $1,000 of price. Since it was odd that I even mentioned this, the broker immediately honed in on the fact that I didn’t have all the closing cost terminology under my belt and hemmed and hawed about how that was typically a buyer cost and the seller wouldn’t pay it. We didn’t come to terms on the final price and perusing the broker’s site later we found a whole section on closing costs, and on the broker’s very own site it listed transfer taxes as a seller cost.
We didn’t get jacked, but we could have if we hadn’t done our research, which is why this Good Morning America story, “Save Thousands on Closing Costs” is pretty valuable. Check it out if you’re thinking about buying, or if you’ve already bought and want to see if you were smart or not.