Getting Your Seller to Pay Closing Costs on Your Next House
Are you ready for your next big move? Perhaps your family has grown and you need a few extra bedrooms, or you're ready to move into a forever home with a generous plot of land.
Buying a new house is exciting, but it can also be costly, and one way to save is by reducing closing costs, which can be 3-6 percent of your mortgage. However, there are ways to reduce your expenses and get the seller to pay closing costs on your new property.
Tips to Get the Seller to Pay Your Closing Costs
No one wants to pay more than they have to in a real estate deal, and that includes the sellers. Chances are they're purchasing a new home themselves or they've already bought a new property. Therefore, they might be open to helping with closing costs. If they're eager to buy something themselves or they're spread thin due to a recent purchase, they may want to sell the current home as quickly as possible. They might contribute to closing costs if it means the sale will go through faster, giving them access to the money from the sale proceeds.
Sellers who offer closing cost credits may also receive tax benefits, further incentivizing a deal. However, a seller's willingness to issue a closing credit likely depends on demand in the local market. When a lot of buyers are interested, their chances of selling without contributing to closing are strong. They may benefit more from that type of sale than from a potential tax break.
Your best chance of getting a seller to cover your closing costs is by suggesting it as a win-win.
Offer to Pay Full Price for the Home
Sellers don't want a drawn-out process. They want to find reliable, qualified buyers and close the deal as quickly as possible. Offering to pay their full asking price eliminates the need for tough price negotiations, and it may make them amenable to helping with closing expenses. Oftentimes, sellers will increase their asking price on a house in case a buyer tries to negotiate for something lower. If they've already calculated that buffer into their financial picture, they might feel comfortable contributing to closing costs since they could still end up earning what they wanted on the house.
Offer to Buy the House As-is
Sellers may also agree to pay closing costs if it helps the sale go through and prevents them from having to pay for extensive or expensive repairs before you'll agree to the purchase. You should still ask that they fix anything that doesn't pass inspection. But if you're willing to take on the responsibility for cosmetics and less urgent repairs, they might be more amenable to helping out with your closing costs. After all, they don't want to put any more money into their soon-to-be former home than they have to.
Work Together to Find a Suitable Agreement
If the seller is unwilling or unable to pay the full closing costs, ask whether there is an amount they can contribute — even a small percentage could help. You could also ask them to lower the purchase price. While they would receive less for the home, they wouldn't pay anything out-of-pocket, and you would pay less in down payment expenses.
Additional Resources for Closing Cost Help
Even if the seller won't help with closing expenses, you may be eligible for closing assistance from other resources. Military servicemembers and union members may be eligible for closing cost benefits.
Look into state and local closing as well as down payment assistance programs. Many areas offer homebuyer support based on your city, county, and state. Assistance levels vary by program and location and often include income limits, though these also vary according to where you're buying. But they can be great resources for lowering your out-of-pocket expenses when purchasing your next home.