hopscotchBuyer / Seller & FSBO


Taking the guesswork out of “who pays for what”

Buyer and seller costs, who pays for what, are always negotiable. The following reflects the standard cost breakdown in Ohio. Who pays for what depends also on the type of loan for which the buyer has applied, i.e., FHA, VA, conventional or cash.

*Please note some counties may dictate different local customs concerning buyer seller cost responsibilities.





Payoff of current mortgage

Tax and rent proration           

Security deposit

Real estate commissions

Deed preparation

County transfer tax    

Recording canceled mortgage/releases

Title exam

Owner’s fee premium

½ escrow fee  

Transfer service/update fee    

Hold signature fee

Special tax search

Additional filing fee/assignments

Termite inspection

Lender doc prep (VA, FHA)


Recording of deed/mortgage
Owner’s fee premium
Alta. loan policy
Commitment to insure
½ escrow fee
Lender’s doc prep.
Conditional-filing fees
Recording assignment fees
Mortgage discount/points
Appraisal fee
Credit report fee
Survey fee
Flood certification fee
Interim mortg. interest
Tax/ins. reserves (escrow)

PMI reserves/one time


See attached for definitions of closing costs.


*Please note, estimated quotes on pricing are subject to change. This allows you to have an estimate of your closing cost responsibility only.


Please note that some fees to buyers are prohibited on FHA and VA transactions.


American Family is a full service title agency, serving the state of Ohio. Call us if you have any questions or would like an estimated or preliminary settlement statement.


** Bilingual Services, Definitions and information are available (Español).






Current Mortgage Payoff: 1st mortgage loan, including 2nd mortgage, equity line and any outstanding liens against property must be paid off and closed prior to transfer of Title.


Tax Proration: A debit from seller’s net proceeds and credit to purchaser for taxes accrued but not yet due and payable. Purchaser will be responsible for paying the tax bill when due, even if it dates back to before the purchase date. Remember that the seller gave credit for those taxes to be paid at closing.


Rent Proration/Security Deposits: Rental properties that have received security deposits are forward to the new owner along with the obligations of the lease. Rent is prorated like your land taxes. Balance of month’s rent paid up to the date of transfer.


Deed Preparation: Attorney fee for preparing deed.


County Transfer Tax: Tax payable to county auditor at title transfer. Pricing varies from county to county. Estimated: $2 to $4 per thousand dollars of sale price.


Recording Canceled Mortgage: Recording fee to county recorder for filing releases. In most cases the fee is added to seller’s payoff statement, and filed by lender that is releasing the mortgage, therefore not charged on settlement statement. Only when the title company is required to file the release will it reflect on your settlement statement; you cannot be charged twice for releases.


Title Examination: Title company service fee for performing up to a 65-year search of public records.


Commitment to Insure: Fee for the issuance of written “binder” for title insurance that sets forth the proposed transaction, requirements and exceptions to clear title.


Owner’s Fee Policy: One-time premium for buyer’s title insurance that protects them, as owner, against land ownership problems arising from past occurrences.


ALTA Loan Policy: Title insurance premium for insurance protecting the mortgage lender against loss from past occurrences, such as forgery, fraud, and missing heirs.


Escrow Fee: Service fee for facilitating in a third-party capacity the transfer of property by following the written instructions of buyer and seller, acting attorneys or agents of buyer and seller, holding funds and documents on their behalf, disbursing funds and documents and transferring title and filing of documents at county courthouse.


Transfer Service Fee/Update Fee: Title company fee for updating records prior to filing/transfer. This is to ensure that no liens have been filed from the time of the original exam up to the filing/transfer date.


Hold Signature Fee: Title company fee for examining the public records for mortgage releases, sometime multiple times, so that final title policy may be issued. This fee is normally charged when a title company did not do the escrow services and or file the releases themselves. Title company should have proof of release prior to issue of policy. Commonly charged for purchase deals and title-only (outside escrow company is being used).


Recording Deed and/or Mortgage: Fee payable to the county recorder for filing mortgage or deed. Pricing may vary in different counties per instrument. Estimated: $28 for first 2 pages, $8 per page thereafter. Estimated 14-22 pages are filed per transaction; deed and mortgage filings are considered separate instrument.


Tax service Fee: One time fee payable to the company that services payment of real estate taxes.


Special Tax Search: Lender directed service fee for title company’s search of local city ordinances to ascertain if there are pending items for assessments that have not yet been certified to the county auditor, such as water, sewer, street or lighting. Lenders normally require this with purchase deals. Note: Very few counties offer information for special tax search requests. This fee is questionable for actual work being performed.


Lender Document Preparation: Lender fee for preparation of the loan documents and mortgage deeds.


Conditional Filing Fee: Title company service fee for work performed at title transfer to ensure that all of the conditions of the parties, including the lender, have been satisfied. Note: This can be a questionable fee, and should be included in with your escrow service fee. Title company charges vary.


Recording Fee/Assignments: Recording fee payable to county recorder for filing the document that is used to transfer the interest of the mortgage lender to an investor (selling and reassigning your mortgage to an investor’s other lender)


Mortgage Origination Fee: A one-time set-up fee charged by the lender, usually 1-2% of the mortgage amount.


Appraisal Fee: Fee payable to an appraiser for performing a written report of estimated value of real property. Appraisal fee typically ranges for a single family home vary from $275 to $350 (this is an estimated cost).


Survey Fee: The fee charged by a registered surveyor, at the request of the lender, to perform a site inspection of the property to determine if improvements are located within the boundary lines of the property. Note: This is not the same as a boundary survey; it is considered a location survey. Boundary Surveys are typically more expensive and are required for property splits and new construction sites. Location surveys vary in cost from approximately $110 to $140, standard.


Credit Report Fee: Fee payable to credit reporting agency on the past ability of a loan applicant to pay installment payments on credit or mortgage debts. This also allows lenders to assess your debt to income ratio for qualifications.


Interim Mortgage Interest: Per diem (charge per day) interest collected at closing for the period between closing and the first date of the following month, when you make your first mortgage payment.