East NotaryLawWho Pays Attorney Fees at Closing?
East NotaryLawWho Pays Attorney Fees at Closing?

Who Pays Attorney Fees at Closing?

Closing costs can add up quickly. These one-time fees must be paid by both buyers and sellers in order to complete a real estate transaction.

Attorneys specializing in real estate closings can make the process much smoother for you. Their fees could either be hourly or flat rate.

They can help guide and protect the homebuying or selling process.


Buyers must incur various closing costs when buying their new home, the largest of which being the real estate agent commission, which may exceed 6% of its sales price. Additional one-time expenses include loan origination fee, home and property inspection fees and mortgage insurance premiums; some lenders also may levy courier fees to transport loan documents.

Negotiate these fees with your lender; for example, if they charge an excessive loan origination fee, try convincing them to lower it to save money.

Ask the seller to cover some of your closing costs; some sellers are more than willing to do this if you guarantee that the deal will close quickly.


Sellers incur many closing fees when selling their home, such as real estate commissions to both their agent and that of the buyer’s, home inspection costs and title insurance premiums. Furthermore, transfer taxes must also be paid. Occasionally in an appealing market for buyers they may even offer concessions toward closing costs of buyers.

Sellers will have an accurate view of their closing-cost tally by receiving what’s known as a settlement sheet or closing statement approximately three business days before closing day. This document will detail all associated closing expenses.

Standard state contracts typically outline some assumptions regarding who pays which closing costs, although these aren’t set in stone. Other fees like mortgage loan origination fees and property tax prorations are usually decided upon through contract negotiation; sellers are responsible for any homeowners association dues that need to be brought current at closing.


Lenders will typically charge a credit report fee to review a homebuyer’s credit history and ensure they qualify for their mortgage loan, usually less than $30. Many also require buyers to purchase one year’s worth of homeowners insurance at closing as well as title insurance premiums that reduce risk associated with potential title claims against property ownership.

Buyers must also cover one-time fees such as real estate attorney and courier fees to complete the property transfer. Courier costs typically run about $30.

Buyers should also budget for an appraisal, home inspection and property taxes prorated to their portion of ownership for that year. Furthermore, certain states impose a fee to test for lead-based paint if their home was constructed prior to 1979.


Escrow agents serve as impartial third-party intermediaries between two parties engaged in financial transactions such as the sale of a home. Once all conditions of the sales contract have been fulfilled, then all property or cash will be released back to the seller.

Escrow accounts are also commonly used during mortgage closings to manage property tax and homeowners insurance payments for homeowners, which form part of their monthly mortgage payment but may differ year to year. At closing, your mortgage servicer will estimate these annual costs before adding them to the escrow account.

Other closing costs to consider include real estate agent commissions (negotiated between buyers and sellers), property appraisal fees, survey costs if necessary, deed documents recording fees, title insurance premiums (which protect buyers against unforeseeable issues with title to home) as well as title insurance policies which protect buyers against title problems), recording fees for deed documents as well as title insurance premiums paid either directly by buyers or jointly between both parties if applicable and title registration costs associated with recording deed documents.