Home prices in Seattle, Washington have risen steadily over the last couple of years. As a result, closing costs for Seattle home buyers have also increased. Here’s an updated look at the average closing costs in Seattle, relative to home prices — and a few other things buyers should know.
Average Closing Costs for Buyers Can Vary
The rate of home-price appreciation in Seattle from July 2016 to July 2017 was nearly double that of any other U.S. city, according to a recent report. And prices are expected to rise further.
This means that home buyers in and around the city are encountering higher housing costs, including the amount due at closing.
“Closing costs” is actually a collective term that refers to a variety of different fees. Some of these might be charged by the lender, while others are charged by third parties such as property appraisers and title companies. Home buyers in Seattle typically have to pay for government recording fees as well.
On average, home buyers in Seattle, Washington tend to pay somewhere between 2% and 5% of the purchase price in closing costs. But that’s just an average range. The actual amount you pay in closing costs can vary based on a number of factors. The price of the home plays a role, but there are other variables as well.
Seller Contributions and Lender Credits
Most of the mortgage programs available today allow sellers to contribute money toward the home buyer’s closing costs. But in a tight seller’s market like Seattle, where there is limited inventory, this kind of practice is less common.
Asking for a seller “concession” is a strategy more commonly used in a buyer’s market, where sellers are generally more eager to land an offer. But in a hot market like Seattle, the homeowner might be less inclined to contribute money toward the buyer’s closing costs.
This is why it’s wise to have a real estate agent on your side. He or she can advise you on the best path forward, based on local market conditions.
There are other things Seattle home buyers can do to lower their closing costs. Depending on the type of loan you are using, you might be eligible for a lender credit toward your closing costs. This is where the borrower agrees to take on a slightly higher mortgage rate, in exchange for a credit applied to their closing costs. In certain scenarios, a slight increase in the rate can result in a significant reduction in the home buyer’s out-of-pocket closing costs. So it’s something to consider.
Get an Estimate, and Prepare Early
When you apply for mortgage loan, you should receive an estimate of the closing costs that might be due on the day you close. While these estimates can differ slightly from the actual amount due on closing day, they’re generally pretty accurate. It will help you plan accordingly.
You’ll also receive a “Closing Disclosure” shortly before the day you close, and this will include the actual amount that is due.
As a Seattle home buyer, you can prepare for your closing costs by setting extra money aside early on in the process. In fact, now is a good time to start. The more you save, the easier time you will have covering your closing costs, down payment, and other out-of-pocket expenses.