Are “closing service fees” negociable?

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Below please find an interesting conversation between buyer and Title company.

What do you think, are you on the buyer’s or the Title company’s site?

Buyer                 Why do I have a closing fee of $650 to your Title company????   What exactly am I getting for this charge?

Title Agent           This is the fee for our services as Closing Agent. This is for processing the title, coordinating the parties for closing, preparing the final HUD and gathering all of the required documents and requirements for closing. This is standard and our fee is very minimal and therefore is not negotiable. This is also agreed to via the contract addendum # 10. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Buyer              Yes it is covered in the addendum #10 and is customary.  I have purchased multiple houses over the past two years and the closing costs to me have been about half what you are charging.  You don’t give any idea of how much you are going to charge in addendum #10, and it is assumed the charges are going to be reasonable.  If you are going to charge double what I have paid in the past, then please give me an itemized cost (an time expected for each task) of what you are going to do for this fee so I can review and decide on my response. I have another question for you.  Is the Consumer Services Commission the only government agency that reviews title company fees?

Title Agent           All fees were itemized on the draft HUD provided by us.  This firm does not charge “miscellaneous” fees such as courier, phone, fax, title update, post-closing updates, closing fee, scanning/electronic storage, etc.  We charge a Closing Services Fee which is disclosed on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement.  You were free to select your own title agent to issue the Owner’s Title Insurance Policy and act as Settlement Agent.  Instead you chose to take advantage of the inducement from the Seller (payment of the Owner’s Policy) and allow our firm to issue title and act as Settlement Agent.  As such, you agreed to pay our standard closing fees.   Please let me know how you are proceeding. 

Buyer           My issue is that your “standard” fees to the buyer are about twice what others charge.  For instance as I look at the past few house I bought this year I see final charges to the buyer of the following:

A  Title  $100

B  Title  $350

C  Title  $250

These were all for similar priced houses in N. St. Pete within the last year. I guess at this point I will go forward and pay your exorbitant fees.  They must be due to the incredible customer service (I only received a preliminary HUD statement yesterday… 3 business days prior to closing date).

I have found in this exercise that your company is pretty quick to get to “NO”, and I am sure that efficiency will bode well in social media.


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