As we all know, buying your first home and understanding all of the financing involved can be a daunting task. Many lenders will tell buyers that they don't need to worry about coming up with money to cover the closing costs. I guess they do that because they want to keep encouraging the buyer to move forward. However, once they plant that thought in the buyer's mind, it's a real challenge to change that when I begin working with the buyer.
My advice to buyers- especially first-time buyers is to first talk to their agent about whether or not sellers will pay for the buyer's closing costs. I tell my buyers that depending on the home that they want to buy, how long it's been on the market, what kind of activity the seller is seeing on the home, etc., they may or may not be able to get their closing costs covered. Every area is different and every home/seller will be different.
The D.C. Metro market is currently experiencing a sellers market and sellers are not inclined to want to pay for closing costs. I focus on Gaithersburg Homes and North Potomac Homes and I can tell you that for the most part buyers have to cover their own costs to buy a home. I may be able to get some kind of a concession from the seller side but again, that depends on what the activity level is on the home. It's always worth asking- but not if you're in a multiple offer situation. That's suicide for a buyer's offer. A good buyer's agent will do their best to get the optimum price and terms for their buyer, but they certainly don't need a lender setting expectations incorrectly from the beginning.