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Title Matters: Be Prepared

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

Knowing what to expect is a major factor in making your buying experience enjoyable and drama free. Unexpected fees due at closing is the kind of surprise that you will not be excited to see. It is important to have a good understanding of your closing costs. Understanding the breakdown of closing costs and what line items will be on your closing statement is something that will keep you from feeling anxious or stressed over the down payment numbers.

One very common ‘’surprise’’ we see buyers experience is the costs associated with a Homeowners Association or management company of the property. Homeowner Associations are often the managing entity for condominiums and planned unit developments. These types of properties will mostly have association fees due at the time of closing. The monthly HOA fee is often disclosed by the real estate agent early in the process before closing. However, many buyers fail to realize that the HOA charges additional closing fees that are associated with moving in or transferring ownership. These costs include items like membership fees, working capital, move in, move out, administrative and processing fees, etc. Some associates also have special assessments that need to be paid off by the seller or pro-rated between both parties on the closing statement.

Although the expectation is to pay a monthly fee of a few hundred dollars, the closing costs can be thousands. Every HOA has their own list and it is the settlement agent’s duty to ensure that they are collected property and delivered to the HOA at the buyer’s closing.

Important questions to know ahead of time and these can often be answered by the real estate agent you are working with, attorney or settlement agent. By the time the title company has that information it is usually a week or so before your closing date. So if you want to know that information earlier then that that it is often best to start the question with your agent upfront and be prepared for those costs so that there are no surprises!

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