I am located in a small northwest Iowa town, Storm Lake to be exact. It is very seldom that we have a Buyer who does not ask the Seller to pay the Buyer's closing costs. Closing costs in this area are usually around 3% of the purchase price.
Our inventory is very low and many times the price offered is not what actually ends getting an offer accepted, it is the combination of price AND terms. In a negotiation or multiple offer situation asking the Seller to pay the Buyer's closing costs can be very costly - in more than a few instances it has cost a buyer the property.
I hear it nearly every time I receive an offer from another agent or write an offer for one of my buyers, "Banker said I should make sure the seller pays closing costs." I realize that when most bankers are making this recommendation and even when some agents are writing the request, they are not explaining that the closing costs are normal BUYER costs.
I am frustrated that banks and agents are not required to explain these costs. I believe as a REALTOR I am obligated to educate my client in the area of closing costs and I ALWAYS tell my Buyers, that they are not fees the Seller has accumulated in the normal process of selling a property. These are for the most part BANK fees, which should be negotiable between the BUYER and the BANK.