Here’s one that surprises many Buyers. They show up to a closing and add up all the fees being paid to a Closing Agent they didn’t hire and have some sticker shock. I’ve seen some Closing Agents charge upwards of several thousand dollars to the Buyer to Close their loan. OK, here’s the way it works. In Palm Beach County it is ‘normal and customary’ for the Seller to choose the Closing Agent and the Title Agent. The standard Contract states that whoever chooses these two pays for their fees EXCEPT now the Buyer may be charged. The applicable section is:
“Seller shall designate Closing Agent and pay for Owner’s Policy and Charges, and Buyer shall pay the premium for Buyer’s lender’s policy and charges for closing services related to the lender’s policy, endorsements and loan closing, which amounts shall be paid by Buyer to Closing Agent or such other
provider(s) as Buyer may select; or”
There’s no easy way around this. The Closing and Title Agent are chosen by the Seller. They are typically referred to the Seller by the Listing Agent and often have an affiliated business relationship with the listing agent or the company that agent works for. One can either limit or cap these extra fees in the Contract, which is something that is almost never done, or the Buyer can and SHOULD request an estimate of the Closing agent and Title Agent fees while still in the as-is contingency period. Unfortunately they don’t come up until well after this in most cases.