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I am trying to breakdown all transactional costs related to buying and selling a house as well as their numerical values. For instance, the agents get around 3% in commission each, the inspection costs around 500 dollars, etc, etc.

I have thought about these costs:

  • Agents commissions
  • Closing costs
  • Inspector
  • Lawyer

Feel free to add all the missing ones that come to your mind and an estimate of its respective costs or ratios.

  • You may want to distinguish between costs paid by the seller vs the buyer. Inspections are paid by buyers normally, commissions by seller, both may have lawyers, etc. All these are normally considered "closing costs." – farnsy May 17 '15 at 23:09
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The traditional agent commission is 6%, but this can frequently be less. For instance, in a very hot market with low inventory, the sellers agent doesn't have too much work to do and may agree to a 2% or less commission. For a buyer that does all of the research themselves, they may get a reduction in commission from their agent as well. Some agents will even work on a fixed rate instead of a commission.

Other closing costs include:

  • Title Insurance: around 0.1-0.5% of the price
  • Points or other lender fees (negotiated, 1 point = $1,000)
  • Homeowners insurance policy and other insurance policies (ie: flood, earthquake, etc): Varies.
  • Interest from the lender between the time that the fund the escrow account and the time that the sale closes (~.01%/day, depends on loan rate)
  • deeding recording fees (~$100)
  • county transfer taxes (varies based on location)
  • property taxes, often due in advance for the current period (varies based on location)
  • home warranty: optional, sometimes paid for by seller if negotiated: varies, but roughly a few hundred $$
  • escrow fees: few hundred $$
  • loan appraisal (distinct from inspection): depends on home size, few hundred $$

There may be other costs that arise which are negotiated between buyer and seller. For instance, a seller may require that the buyer allow them to live in the home for some period after the sale. The buyer may charge the seller rent for this period, which can be just deducted at closing. The buyer may also demand as conditions to the sale that the seller repair certain things, such as code violations. The buyer/seller may negotiate other property as part of the sale such as appliances, furniture, etc.

If the buyer enters into a contract and then withdraws for whatever reason before the purchase closes, depending on the specific contract, the buyer may be responsible for legal damages to the seller. Generally the contract will limit these damages to something like 3% of the sale price.

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In the United states the amount need to close a real estate transaction does vary by state by state, and even within a state. Some are negotiable and some are set by law. Some can even vary within the month. Some are completely optional (points to buy down the interest rate). Fees can even depend on the source of the money.

The cost of the inspector will vary by the size of the house. An inspection of a one bedroom condo is cheaper than an inspection of a mansion.

In a buyers market some sellers may be willing to cover part of the closing costs to smooth the transaction, there was even a time when it wasn't unusual for some of the closing costs can be rolled into the loan. Of course when the seller pays closing costs, the costs have been rolled into the cost of the house.

The best place to get these answered is to find a real estate agent, they know the local market. Also start looking for a lender, they can explain all the loan options. There are federal truth in lending laws that require that you be given all these numbers long before you are committed to a house.

Keep in mind all these fees are in addition to the down payment for the lender, and how much you put down will also influence if you need mortgage insurance.

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In Australia:

When Buying:

  • purchase price
  • loan application fees (may be refunded by lender depending your negotiations)
  • loan mortgage insurance (if you borrow over 80% LVR)
  • conveyancing fees (which includes all your title searches)
  • building and pest inspection/s
  • stamp duty
  • insurance for the building and/or contents
  • repair/rehabilitation cost

You can save on some of these if you learn to do them yourself (worthwhile doing if you plan to buy/sell many properties), including conveyancing and building/pest inspections.

When Selling

  • Capital gains tax if you made a profit on the property
  • loan discharge fees
  • conveyancing fess
  • real estate advertising fees
  • real estate commissions if you sell the property
  • auction fees if you decide to sell at auction
  • repair/rehabilitation costs

Once again you may be able to save on some of these if you learn to do them yourself, including conveyancing and selling the property yourself instead of going through a real estate agent (note: these DIY options are available in Australia but I don't know if they are available elsewhere).

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