Buying a house isn’t cheap. Having to come up with both
closing costs and a down payment out-of-pocket is more than some borrowers can
handle. However, if you have money for a down payment, don’t let closing
expenses stop you. Instead, negotiate with the seller to pay for your closing
In most cases, lenders allow the seller to pay some or all
your closing costs. But how do you get the seller to take on this added expense?
1. Pay the Full Asking Price
While home sellers aren’t obligated to pay your closing
costs, it may help ensure a quick sale. When writing your offer for the house,
talk to your Realtor about offering the full asking price. Sellers expect
bidders to offer a lower price for properties. Thus, many sellers increase the
asking price to give themselves a little room. For example, if a seller wants
$200,000 for a house, he or she might ask for $215,000. In some cases, the
seller doesn’t expect to get the original asking price. But if you were to
offer the full asking price and request closing costs assistance, there’s a good
chance the seller will jump at your offer and comply with your request.
2. Be Ready to Close
If the seller has already purchased another house and needs
to move quickly, negotiate closing costs assistance in your contract and agree
to a quick closing. This method works well with motivated sellers who need to
get out from under the mortgage loan quickly. Some may be willing to do
whatever it takes even if it means taking a lower profit or even no profit from
Get pre-approved for your mortgage before agreeing to a
quick closing, and know where you are getting the money for your home appraisal
and down payment (if required).
3. Avoid Excessive Demands
Home sellers aren’t looking to spend a lot of money updating
their properties before selling. They prefer to save this cash and put the
money toward their down payment on a new place. Therefore, you may be able to
get a seller to pay your closing costs by accepting the house “as-is.” However,
do request that the seller fix any items that didn’t pass the inspection. Remember
that the less a seller must spend on the property, the more likely he or she
will assist with your closing.