Q: Can I bring a personal check to closing?

A: Purchasers will need certified funds/ cashiers check for closing Attorney will usually let you know 24 hours prior to close what the amount will be. A good mortgage lender will also give you a heads up about an estimated amount and then follow this through to the closing.

Q: What mortgage fees should I see on my GFE or Fees Worksheet?


  1. Appraisal…approx $400
  2. Lender Fees (for processing, underwriting, flood cert, etc)…approx $995
  3. Attorney Fees include: Closing fee $400-600, Lender’s Title coverage…generally $3 per 1000 ($100k home may be $500), Owner’s title $300-600 pending size of loan (this fee is optional), and recording or releasing fees $35-100.
  4. Interest due…this depends on the date of closing and is your interest due until your first due date.
  5. Hazard Insurance Premium…this is your full annual premium on your home owner’s policy.  On a purchase you pay for your first year in advance.  If a refinance…it depends when you yearly premium is due.  If your monthly premium is $100/month. This would total $1200 due at your loan close.
  6. Hazard Insurance Reserves…this is your home owner’s cushion to start your new escrow account. Where the lender will be paying your next year’s premium by the collection of your escrow account. If $100…2-3 months of reserves are generally required…so $200-300.
  7. Property Tax Reserves…Taxes are due in arrears…so depends on the time of year and the amount of your yearly tax bill on your property.  General estimate is $500-$1500.
  8. Aggregate adjustment…this is an adjustment pending the months collected and when premiums are due. This is a negative number…and will slightly reduce your costs on escrow account.

In today’s tougher economic times…you can negotiate a certain % of closing costs to be paid by the seller. So–if you are buying a property…always have your realtor discuss how much closing costs can be negotiated to be paid by the seller.  If you are going for a rock bottom price…odds are the seller will be less likely to pay all or some of your closing costs. BIG POINT–it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Closing costs and pre-paids (listed above in #1-#8…are very dependent on the size of the loan)…generally $2500-6500 can be expected in closing costs & pre-paid items (setting up your escrow).

Credit: Russ Ogden, Nola Lending Group LLC

Q: What do I do about utilities?

A: In most cases the seller should provide the purchaser with a list of utilities and then the seller will call first and request a transfer as of the close date.

The purchaser will then contact said utility companies and request the service to be transferred into their name on the date of close or sometimes to be safe if the buyer and seller both agree this can be scheduled fornthe day after the closing.