More Than 50% of Homebuyers Surprised by Closing Costs

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Despite the implementation of the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule, more than half of homebuyers continue to be surprised by closing costs, according to a report from ClosingCorp.

When asked what surprised them where closing costs were concerned, 17% of homebuyers said they were surprised the costs were even required, ClosingCorp found after surveying 1,000 first-time and repeat homebuyers. Another 35% were surprised that their closing costs and fees were higher than expected.

ClosingCorp also found that 58% of survey-takers said their initial loan estimates were changed or revised before closing, of which 63% had home values between $500,000 and $1 million. Conversely, 31% of respondents said that their loan estimates and closing fees matched.

Homebuyers reported being most surprised by mortgage insurance, followed by bank fees and points, taxes, title insurance and appraisal fees. Meanwhile, closing costs, insurance costs and taxes were the most common reasons why loan estimates were changed.

"There are still surprises during the closing process," Bob Jennings, chief executive officer of ClosingCorp, said in a news release. "Lenders and Realtors need to keep educating borrowers on the costs and fees associated with closing to alleviate surprises."

ClosingCorp's survey was conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research at the beginning of January.

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