The Florida Far Bar contract gives the writer of the contract the opportunity to have the seller or buyer pick the title company and pay the closing fees.
The only outright buyer fee in the contract is the title company will charge the buyer a fee for a lenders policy.
Historically, title companies did not charge a buyers closing fee on cash transactions. There is nothing in the contract that authorizes a buyers closing fee.
When the banks became a big seller from the foreclosure crises, bank title companies charged sometimes huge buyer closing fees, and if you wanted the property, you paid them.
As more and more of the title companies saw what the bank title companies were getting away with, they started charging buyer closing fees.
Yesterday, we had a closing held hostage by a sellers title company.
The buyer a sophisticated investor balked at the closing statement fees and had his Realtor and partner do battle to try to get the closing fees reduced. He then called and raised almighty hell with the title company.
Long story short. They took some of the fees off but still charged a closing fee.
The Realtor, a real go getter called 7 title companies he knew to find out the real scoop.
Six of them said that they would reduce the buyers fees and if that was not satisfactory then they said they would just remove them. All of them indicated that they felt it was OK to charge the fee, but it seems they all knew it could be challenged.
The Realtor Hot line and a noted broker both said the title company was providing service to the buyer and therefor could charge a buyers closing fee.
CONCLUSION: I don't know what is right and wrong. A solution is to have the buyer agent put a maximum on the contract, "Max Buyer closing fee $250." It is then part of the contract and therefor the title company will have to honor it.
Randal Jenkins Realtor
Coldwell Banker F I Grey and Son Res 6330 US 19 New Port Richey Fl 34653