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How Much Are Closing Costs in Georgia in 2024?

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hands of a person with a pen signing a real estate contract that state closing costs

You’re ready to buy or sell a home in Georgia. Then you realize you haven’t factored in closing costs. Now what?

Not only are closing costs vital to the completion of the sale, but they also represent money you need to set aside during the purchase.

But how much should you expect to pay?

If you’ve been asking yourself, “How much are closing costs in Georgia?” then you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’re telling you everything you need to know about closing costs in the Peach State.

Sound interesting? Keep reading!

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Understanding Closing Costs

Understanding closing costs is paramount in the real estate world, especially for buyers in Georgia. These costs, often overlooked in the initial budgeting stages, can significantly impact the overall financial planning of a home purchase.

Closing costs are the array of fees and expenses that both buyers and sellers incur during the real estate transaction process.

These costs can include title insurance, attorney fees, appraisal fees, recording fees, and various other administrative expenses.

In Georgia, it’s common for both parties to negotiate who pays which closing costs, although traditionally, certain costs are typically assigned to the buyer or the seller.

The role of closing costs in real estate transactions is not merely a procedural formality; they are integral to the successful transfer of property ownership.

For buyers, in particular, understanding and preparing for these costs is crucial. It ensures that the financial aspects of the home buying process are transparent and manageable, preventing any last-minute financial surprises.

Average Closing Costs in Georgia

On average, these costs range between 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price.

This means that for a home valued at $300,000, a buyer in Georgia can expect to pay between $6,000 to $15,000 in closing costs. It’s important to note that these costs can vary depending on a multitude of factors, including the type of property, its location, and the terms of the mortgage.

When compared to national averages, Georgia’s closing costs fall within a similar range. Across the United States, buyers typically encounter closing costs amounting to approximately 2% to 5% of the purchase price.

However, certain states may have higher or lower averages due to variations in local real estate laws, tax rates, and other regional factors.

Breakdown of Buyer’s Closing Costs

A major component of the Georgia closing costs for buyers is associated with the mortgage loan. These include the origination fee, which is charged by the lender to process the new loan application, and can be a significant expense, often around 0.5% to 1% of the loan amount.

Additionally, buyers are responsible for credit report fees, underwriting fees, and potentially, discount points if they choose to pay upfront to reduce their interest rate. These loan-related fees are crucial as they cover the administrative and processing costs incurred by the lender.

The assessment of the property’s value and condition incurs its own set of fees.

This includes the appraisal fee, which is necessary to determine the home’s market value and is a requirement by most lenders.

Home inspections, another critical expense, ensure the property is in good condition and identify any potential issues that may require attention or negotiation. These inspections can vary in cost, depending on the size and type of property.

Certain costs need to be prepaid at closing. These typically include homeowner’s insurance, which must be in place before closing and may also include prepaid interest that accrues between closing and the first mortgage payment.

Property taxes are another significant prepaid item. In Georgia, property taxes are often prorated at closing, meaning the buyer reimburses the seller for taxes paid in advance for the period the buyer will own the home.

There are several additional fees that buyers should anticipate. Attorney fees in Georgia are notable, as the state requires attorney involvement in real estate closings. Title insurance is another essential expense, protecting the buyer and lender from any future property ownership disputes.

Breakdown of Seller’s Closing Costs

One of the most significant expenses of Georgia closing costs for sellers is the real estate agent commission. This fee is typically a percentage of the sale price and is shared between the seller’s and buyer’s agents.

In Georgia, the average commission rate is generally around 5% to 6% of the home’s selling price. For example, on a home sold for $300,000, the commission could amount to $15,000 to $18,000. This fee compensates the agents for their services, including marketing the property, negotiating with buyers, and facilitating the sales process.

Another crucial cost for sellers is the Georgia real estate transfer tax. This tax is imposed for transferring the property’s title from the seller to the buyer.

In Georgia, the tax rate is typically calculated based on the property’s sale price. Additionally, sellers may also be responsible for other title-related fees, such as the cost of preparing and recording the deed. These costs ensure the legal transfer of property and the proper documentation of the sale.

Sellers in Georgia may also face various other expenses.

If the property is part of a Homeowners Association (HOA), the seller might need to settle any outstanding HOA fees. These fees could include monthly dues or any special assessments that have been levied on the property.

Furthermore, during the negotiation phase, buyers may request repair credits as a condition of the sale. These credits are typically deducted from the sale proceeds and are used to cover the costs of any necessary repairs or improvements agreed upon in the sale contract.

Who Pays What?

When it comes to who pays closing costs in Georgia, certain closing costs are more commonly borne by one party over the other.

Buyers usually shoulder the costs associated with securing the mortgage, including origination fees, credit report fees, and appraisal fees.

They are also typically responsible for prepaid items like homeowner’s insurance and property taxes.

On the other hand, sellers generally pay the real estate agent commissions, a significant portion of the closing costs. Sellers also typically handle the title transfer taxes and any associated fees, ensuring the legal transition of the property title to the buyer.

In a seller’s market, where demand outstrips supply, sellers may have the upper hand in negotiations and might be able to pass more of the closing costs to the buyer.

Conversely, in a buyer’s market, buyers may have more leverage to negotiate for the seller to cover a larger portion of the closing costs.

Factors Influencing Closing Costs

The type of mortgage loan chosen by the buyer plays a pivotal role in determining the range and amount of closing costs.

For instance, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) often include unique fees such as an upfront mortgage insurance premium, which is not typically required for conventional loans.

On the other hand, Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, designed for military veterans, can include a VA funding fee, the amount of which varies based on factors such as the size of the down payment and whether the borrower has previously used their VA loan benefit.

Conventional loans, which are not government-backed, may have fewer mandated fees but can involve higher requirements for private mortgage insurance, especially if the down payment is less than 20% of the home’s value.

The location and price of the home are also instrumental in shaping closing costs. Different counties or municipalities in Georgia may have varying tax rates, recording fees, and other local charges that can affect the total amount.

Additionally, the price of the home itself impacts closing costs. Higher-priced homes can lead to higher appraisal and title insurance fees, as these costs are often proportional to the property value. The property’s location might also determine whether specific inspections or insurance types are necessary.

For instance, homes in flood-prone areas might require additional flood insurance, adding to the closing costs.

How to Calculate Your Closing Costs

One of the most accessible tools for estimating closing costs is an online closing cost calculator.

These calculators, often found on real estate, financial advisory, or lender websites, provide ballpark figures based on the home’s sale price, location, and loan type.

Additionally, buyers can utilize the Loan Estimate form, which lenders are required to provide within three days of a loan application.

This document outlines estimated closing costs, including lender fees, title insurance costs, and prepaid items like taxes and insurance.

For sellers, the Net Proceeds Calculator can offer an estimate of the costs they’ll face and the net amount they might expect from the sale.

While these tools offer preliminary insights, lenders can provide detailed and customized closing cost estimates based on the specific loan product and terms.

A lender’s estimate will consider the borrower’s credit profile, the loan-to-value ratio, and other factors unique to the loan scenario.

Real estate agents, familiar with local market practices and legal requirements, can also provide valuable insights into expected closing costs. Their experience with similar transactions in the area can help in predicting expenses that might be unique to the region or property type.

Strategies to Reduce Closing Costs

Buyers can start by comparing loan offers from multiple lenders to find the best rates and fees. Lenders vary in their charges and terms, so shopping around can lead to substantial savings.

It’s also advisable for buyers to question and understand each fee, as some can be negotiable or even waived, particularly administrative or processing fees.

Additionally, buyers can ask the seller to contribute to the closing costs as part of the purchase negotiation, which is a common practice in many real estate transactions.

Sellers can minimize their closing costs by negotiating the real estate agent’s commission.

While these commissions are typically a standard percentage of the sale price, they can sometimes be negotiated downwards, especially if the seller is doing some parts of the selling process themselves, like marketing or staging.

Another strategy for sellers is to offer to sell the house ‘as-is’, potentially reducing costs related to repairs and improvements that might arise from the buyer’s inspection.

For both buyers and sellers, negotiation plays a key role in reducing closing costs. Buyers should not hesitate to negotiate with lenders and ask for discounts or waivers on certain fees.

Similarly, when it comes to services like title searches and insurance, both parties should shop around and compare rates from different providers.

Often, these service costs can vary, and finding a competitive rate can lead to significant savings. Being informed and willing to negotiate can lead to favorable terms and reduced expenses.

Closing Cost Assistance Programs in Georgia

For many homebuyers in Georgia, affording closing costs can be a significant hurdle in the journey toward homeownership.

One notable program is the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program. This initiative provides down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers, which can also be used to cover closing costs.

The program offers several different types of down payment assistance, including forgivable loans and second mortgages, depending on the buyer’s qualifications and needs.

Local programs in different counties and cities across Georgia also exist, offering similar forms of assistance. These programs often target specific neighborhoods or demographic groups, aiming to foster community development and homeownership opportunities.

Eligibility for these programs typically hinges on several factors, including income level, credit score, and whether the applicant is a first-time homebuyer.

For instance, the Georgia Dream program has income and purchase price limits that vary depending on the county and household size. Additionally, applicants usually need to complete a homebuyer education course as part of the eligibility requirements.

To apply, interested buyers should first contact an approved lender who can guide them through the qualification process for these programs.

It’s advisable to seek assistance early in the home buying process, as some programs may have limited funds or specific application windows.

How Much Are Closing Costs in Georgia?

Now you have a much better sense of the closing cost process of buying a home in Georgia. There are elements to it that are straightforward, but other parts that can be confusing.

Whether your question is, “How Much Are Closing Costs in Georgia?” or anything else related to buying and selling a home, we can help.

Our site has a ton of great resources, plus you can also enter your home address to get your home value and get a cash offer to sell your house!

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