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If you want to buy a house, you’ll have to pay closing costs. The total will depend on the lender and other service providers you choose and the location of your new home, but you should expect to pay several thousand dollars. Fortunately, there are ways to keep the fees from getting out of control.

What Are Closing Costs?
The term “closing costs” encompasses a variety of fees. Some are charged by the lender to process the mortgage application, pull a credit report and secure the property’s title. Others are related to home and pest inspections and the appraisal. Fees are charged to survey the property’s physical characteristics and proximity to boundaries and utilities. You may also have to pay fees related to taxes, private mortgage insurance and homeowners insurance at the time of closing.

How to Control Closing Costs
Your lender should provide you with a loan estimate explaining what your closing costs will likely be. Check to make sure the estimate doesn’t include any unnecessary or duplicate fees. If you don’t know what something means, ask. Go through the estimate line by line, and look for any fees that shouldn’t be there.

Shop around and compare fees. You can work with the lender of your choice. Find the one that offers the lowest closing costs, or ask your preferred lender to match a competitor’s offer.

Some services, such as inspections and title searches, can be provided by a number of companies. Your lender may recommend specific companies for those services, but you don’t need to take your lender’s advice. You can and should contact several businesses to compare their fees.

Move up or Push Back the Closing Date
Some sellers want to close quickly because their house has lingered on the market for a long time or they need to move to start a new job. A motivated seller may be willing to pay some of your closing costs to close the deal as soon as possible.

Another option is to delay the closing. When you close on a house, you’ll have to pay pro-rated interest for the period between the closing date and the beginning of the first full month of the mortgage. You can eliminate those charges by waiting to close at the beginning of the next month.

Understand Closing Costs and How to Keep Them Under Control
Many homebuyers focus only on the price of a house and are shocked by the amount of the closing costs. You’ll have to pay many fees no matter what, but you may be able to avoid some or find a way to keep them relatively low. Conduct research, shop around, talk to your lender and ask your real estate agent for advice.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional or legal advice.