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Old 07-14-2010, 03:36 PM
704 posts, read 1,811,322 times
Reputation: 95


[SIZE=2]I have a list of buyer's cost given to me by my lender.

Legal fees listed are:
title search 75.00
document prep. fee - lawyer 75.00
lawyer fee 550.00
deed recording fee 10.00

title insurance 98.67 and a lawyer that did a title search for me last year, said his house buying total package fee of $425 does not include the title insurance. He handles the title insurance on behalf of the buyer and he gets a small portion of the title insurance cost, for his handling of it.

I've paid the 10.00 deed filing fee before, so that is correct for my county.

The rest of the bank's estimated legal costs adds up to $700.
The same lawyer who did my title search charged $150.
The lawyer that did the deed transfer on a house from estate to me charged $125.
The total of these two fees is $275.

$275 vs. $700

What is being done, and charged for, to show where the $700 comes from?

Anyone done the legal matters related to a purchase, individually, and not as a package with cost savings?

What services are being done besides the title search and deed transfer?

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Old 07-14-2010, 08:24 PM
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 39,770,900 times
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You already have a signed contract, right?

I can only tell you that the lawyer fee I paid for my purchases has been mostly for the review and back and forth with the contract. Once the contract was finalized there was not much for him to do. He did come to the closings to look over everything as well.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:39 AM
608 posts, read 1,188,461 times
Reputation: 466
Most of the fees you listed are crap fees, thrown in to keep people in business. You can negotiate them if you want, but it may delay your mortgage. Especially the lawyer fee.

Since this is a buyers market, if you want, you can go to the seller and have them pay for the fees.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:06 PM
704 posts, read 1,811,322 times
Reputation: 95
I had a house for sale and the buyer's offered 5.7% under the asking price and they asked for 0 in closing cost.
We close the 20th and as the seller, I have one legal fee, the preparation of the deed since I possess the deed that will be recorded. The fee for me is $150-$200, not sure. The buyer is paying all other legal fees. I have to pay the deed stamps too, I guess that is not legal.

Also, I just made a cash offer on a bank owned home. Since, in the past, I have paid a lawyer for a title search-update for $150 and I have paid a different lawyer for a deed preparation of $135 ($125 his fee and $10 filing fee) and the total of that is $285, then I wondered what "other" services and fees add up to the $700 buyer legal fees.

I talked to the lawyer who is handling the closing for my buyer.
Here is why the $150 title search-update and $135 deed preparation is low.
1. The $150 title search-update was for a foreclosure auction and only goes back 10 years. A title search on a house sale goes all the way back, so the title search fee is more.
2. The $135 deed preparation fee is low because that lawyer's office is across the street from all county offices, so he does not have to travel 30 miles round trip from the main city in the county, like other lawyers do.

So on the house I am interested in buying and offering cash, here are my legal fees as estimated by the same lawyer who is closing on the house I just sold.
lawyer fee $450
title search $125
title insurance $100
deed filing fee $10
since I'd be paying cash, no title binder is required

That adds up to $685 which is close to Wells Fargo's $700 list in the text of my question.

The $450 above includes the deed recording. The bank would pay the deed preparation, just like I am having to do on my sale.
He explained about the $450. He spends about an hour at the closing. His staff spends 2-2.5 hours preparing the "closing" package. Since he is not in the county seat, he has to travel 30 miles round trip to record and file the deed. The closing is about 25 miles round trip from his office.

I think the only legal fee I'm saving by paying cash is the title binder. I'd have to pay that with a mortgage. And Wells Fargo who approved me for a small mortgage before I was able to offer cash, said I could use their laywer or mine, so their legal fee estimates were just estimates.

It looks like the $685 is the best I can do on legal fees with a cash purchase.
And on a mortgage purchase the same $685 but add title insurance binder.
Unless Wells Fargo lawyer would be cheaper. They just said I could use their's or mine.
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