Average Closing Costs in Washington

In 2015, the average closing costs on a mortgage in Washington was $1,901. Typically, the closing costs equate 1 to 6% of the final cost. This was the 13th-highest average in the United States and was slightly above the national average, which was just above $1,800. However, less expensive homes tend to have a higher closing cost ratio. Also, the date of the closing makes a difference on the ratio, as interest and property taxes are figured into the exact closing costs.

What Goes Into Washington's Closing Costs

Sales Tax

Although sales tax may be considered a closing cost, it defaults as the seller’s responsibility to pay in the state of Washington. This policy differs in other states. As of April 30, 2016, the state excise tax rate in Washington for the sale of a home was 1.78%.

Appraisal

Lenders may require an appraisal to determine the value of property before the lender may finance the property. While a bank or mortgage broker may ensure that the appraisal is completed, the buyer often pays for the appraisal. While the cost varies based on the property type, location and square footage, the average cost of an appraisal in Washington is anywhere from $250 to $500.

Title Insurance

Title insurance makes sure the seller is giving the buyer a clean title at the time of sale. If the buyer is taking out a mortgage to buy the property, the buyer is required to purchase the insurance. The insurance commissioner regulates title insurance policies in Washington. However, the prices are competitive and vary among companies. A rough estimate of title insurance costs is one-third of 1%. This percentage is slightly lower as the price of the house increases. Properties in Washington that cost $500,000 are likely to have title insurance costing one-fifth of 1%. If both the buyer and seller purchase their policies from the same insurance company, the insurance company may offer a slight discount. The insurance amount covers the amount of the loan, not the full value of the property. Average title insurance in Washington costs $250 to $500.

Escrow

Escrow is a service to account for the money, property and documents during the purchasing process. The price is not regulated in the state of Washington, but the prices are fairly competitive. The closing agent fees range from $200 to $400, depending on the value of the house and the location.

Real Estate Commission

Real estate commission is a fee received by an agent for his or her services provided in the transaction. There is no standard commission rate, and no legislation in Washington regulates whether the buyer or seller must pay. While the commission is often classified as a cost of the property, the commission does not occur until the sale is completed, and may approximate 6% of the sale price. Raw land typically results in higher commission rates.

Loan Origination Fee

The loan origination fee is the money that the lender makes for their processing and underwriting of the loan. Although the original fee is approximately 1% in Washington, this is often the most complicated and least transparent fee. The lender may also be paid by the mortgage holder instead, which results in a higher interest rate.

Credit Report

The lender runs a credit report on the borrower, and the borrower is often required to pay for this service regardless of if the loan closes. Each person on the loan application requires a credit check. The expense may range from anywhere up to $60 per person in Washington.

Flood Certification

A $10 fee may be paid to a third-party service for information on whether a piece of property is in a flood zone. This certification process is required by the homeowner’s insurance underwriter.

Recording Fees

A recording fee is money paid to make a document public record. If another party attempts to exercise privilege of ownership over a piece of property, the public record documentation makes it clear who has the appropriate rights. In Washington, government recording fees are generally between $65 and $85.

Closing Service

Closing service fees are paid for the actual service of closing the transaction. The title company may provide this service, though another closing agency could perform these services. In Washington, smaller purchases result in charges of around $700, and the buyer is usually responsible for paying half of this charge.

How Washington Closing Costs Compare to the Rest of the Country

As stated earlier, Washington closing costs are slightly higher than the national average. This is to be expected, as the median listing price per property in Washington is slightly above national average. Although certain counties in Western Washington, especially King County, have a median home listing of over $400,000, the housing market in Washington is fairly reflective of the national average, and this is reflected in the average closing costs.

Wyoming (WY): Average Closing Costs

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