I have been a Practicing Realtor in Chicago for over 15 years now, and one aspect of this business irks me every day - CLOSING COSTS!
In any other purchase transaction - a car, a boat, a business - wouldn't you, as a buyer, scrutinize every single line of the closing statement, and question charges that seem exorbitant or out of line?
Loan Processing Fees! Underwriting Fees! Payoff Letter Fees! Loan Origination Fees! Title Fees!
They usually total a lot of money, but few buyers say a word. They will gladly fork over hundreds, without a peep - and rarely investigate if these high cost items can be moderated, even a little!
Now, one new website offers to provide quick estimates of closing costs for home buyers, and even suggests shopping around for things like Title Insurance, and Lower-Fee Lenders. The site is Closing.com, and it was discussed in Chicago Tribune Reporter Mary Umberger's Real Estate Column today.
The site says they have a database of over 140,000 closing-related services companies, including rate schedules and credentials. It estimates things like transfer taxes, escrow fees, and title insurance premiums, and strongly suggests comparison shopping.
The site found a wide variation in Title Insurance Rates - a policy on the integrity of title required by the buyer, at the expense of the seller - for example. Often ordered here in the Chicago Area by the Seller's Attorney, who usually receives a portion of the Title Insurance Premium, title charges from different title companies often vary by hundreds of dollars.
Certain bank charges are hundreds of dollars, and provide profit to the Loan Originator. The site discusses these as well, and again asks the home buyer to scrutinize every fee on the HUD-1 Closing Form when at the closing table.
Is there a catch? Well, yes - closing service providers can sign up on the site to advertise their offerings. But, perhaps, in the spirit of competition, just this exposure could indeed drive competitors' prices down. A possibility?
Maybe, just maybe, this site can help change the common practice at closings - just paying whatever is asked. Because, after all, you are buying "A House," right?
Will this new site change attitudes at the closing table? I dunno! But, your thoughts?
See our post today via BlogChicagoHomes.com.
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO