What are Closing Costs?
Closing costs is a broad term that includes all the fees and expenses paid by parties to a real estate closing. The Seller is responsible for some of these costs, while others are paid by the Buyer.
Real Life Example
Here is an example of actual Seller and Buyer Closing Costs on a $500,000 residential property sale in Chicago, Illinois:
(See below for color-coded descriptions.)
|Seller Closing Costs ($500,000)||Buyer Closing Costs ($500,000)|
|Closing Protection Letter||$50.00||Appraisal Fee||$375.00|
|Owner’s Title Policy||$2,550.00*||Loan Application Fee||$1450.00|
|Commitment Update Fee||$150.00*||Prepaid Interest||$1564.42|
|Utility Certification Fee||$100.00*||Real Estate Tax Escrow||$2442.42|
|Zoning Certification Fee||$100.00*||Insurance Escrow||$410.50|
|Wire Transfer Fee||$50.00*||Homeowners Insurance||$1642.00|
|Realtor Commission||$25,000.00||Closing Protection Letter||$50.00|
|County Tax Proration||$5,520.95||Loan Title Policy||$575.00|
|Chicago Water Cert.||$50.00||Policy Endorsement 8.1||$185.00|
|Chicago Zoning Cert.||$120.00||Policy Endorsement 9||$185.00|
|Transfer Tax (State)||$500.00||Recording Fee (Deed)||$98.00|
|Transfer Tax (County)||$250.00||Recording Fee (Mortgage)||$98.00|
|Transfer Tax (City)||$1500.00||Transfer Tax (City)||$3,750.00|
|State of IL Policy Fee||$3.00||State of IL Policy Fee||$3.00|
|Survey||$550.00||24 Mo. Chain of Title||$250.00|
|Attorney Fee||$750.00||APLD Fee||$50.00|
|E-recording Service Fee||$25.00|
|Wire Transfer Fee||$50.00*|
|Grand Total: $37,243.95||Grand Total: $15,903.34
* Rates quoted from the leading national title insurance company. Adler & Herbach offers these fees at a 50% discount to the amounts shown. For a detailed estimate of YOUR closing costs, contact Adler & Herbach.
Closing Costs Typically Paid by Seller:
Seller’s Title Fees – Fees paid to the title company, a third party in the transaction, to conduct a search, examine the title to your property and ensure that all legal requirements are satisfied to transfer it to the Buyer. This also includes the premium for an Owner’s Title Policy, which you are required to purchase for the Buyer.
Here is a quick breakdown of seller’s title fees on a $500,000 home sale in Chicago, Illinois. All rates are based on the leading national title insurance company’s rate schedule:
|Owner’s Title Policy||$2,550.00*|
|Closing Protection Letter||$50.00|
|Utility Certification Fee||$100.00*|
|Zoning Certification Fee||$100.00*|
|Wire Transfer Fee||$50.00*|
|Commitment Update Fee||$150.00*|
|State of IL Policy Fee||$3.00|
|Total Seller Title Fees||$3,003.00|
* Adler & Herbach offers a 50% discount on these fees. In the example above, the Seller’s title fees would be $1,528.00 instead of $3,003.00. For an estimate of YOUR savings, see our Sellers page.
Realtor Commissions – The fee charged by your real estate broker, typically calculated as a percentage of the sales price. Specified in your real estate listing agreement. If you’re selling your home without a real estate broker (FSBO), you will not have this fee. You should also check out the useful information on our FSBO page.
Real Estate Tax Prorations – Since real estate taxes in Illinois are paid in arrears (meaning the current bill is for the prior year’s taxes), the Buyer will be “paying” for time you lived in the house. This is a credit for the portion of time that you occupied the house, which the Buyer will eventually pay on the tax bill.
Transfer Taxes (and other government fees) – Taxes assessed by the State, County and/or Municipality on the transfer of property. The Seller is typically responsible for state and county taxes. In Chicago, Seller is also responsible for a portion of City of Chicago taxes, while the Buyer pays the rest.
Survey – Fee paid to a professional surveyor to show the physical boundaries of your property as well as all improvements, setbacks, easements, and other related matters. The real estate contract often requires you to provide a survey, which enables the title company to provide broader coverage on the title policy.
Attorney Fee – The fee charged by your attorney to review and negotiate the terms of the real estate contract, prepare all legal documents for closing, resolve any legal or contractual issues, and attend the closing.
Closing Costs Typically Paid by Buyer:
Loan Fees – A series of fees associated with purchasing property with a loan. The amounts vary based on the lender and loan type. They may include application fees, appraisal, credit report, prepaid interest and escrows for real estate taxes and insurance.
Homeowners Insurance – An insurance policy that covers potential damage to the property. The Buyer typically pays for the first year of homeowners insurance at or before the closing.
Loan Title Policy Fees – A title insurance policy, separate from the Owner’s Policy, that insures your lender in the transaction. The cost of this policy on a residential purchase loan in Illinois is around $575.00. Lenders often require certain endorsements to be added to the Loan Policy, with an additional cost.
Transfer Taxes (and other government fees) – Taxes assessed by the State, County and/or Municipality on the transfer of property. In most of Illinois, the Seller is responsible for state and county taxes. In Chicago, the Seller is responsible for a portion of City of Chicago taxes, while the Buyer pays the rest. This also includes the cost of recording your deed and mortgage with the County.
Settlement Fees – Fees paid to the title company, a third party in the transaction, to facilitate the closing, record the deed and mortgage, and disburse the funds.
Attorney Fee – The fee charged by your attorney to review and negotiate the terms of the real estate contract, resolve any legal or contractual issues, and attend the closing to assist with signing the loan and title documents.
For additional information on YOUR specific transaction, feel free to contact an attorney at Adler & Herbach.