It's a great question!
The short answer is almost everything is negotiable.
The longer answer is that there are several fees and expenses that go into buying or selling a home. For a seller, you can't just think about the price in terms of how much money you want to get. You have to think about things like:
~Do you owe money on your home still?
~Do you have improvements that will need to be made to make your home marketable?
~How much do you need to be able to move into another home, condo, or apartment?
These factors and more will help determine your selling price (not necessarily your LISTING PRICE!)
For a buyer, you don't just want to think about buying in terms of 'how much house can I afford' because what you can afford on paper could be different from what you can actually afford in reality, or what you will need to have available. Factors such as:
~property tax payments
and more can all change your budget.
Besides these factors, many people do not plan for the expenses that go into closing when buying or selling a home. They think, too often, that everything is included in the price. But that's not always the case.
Many costs beyond the agreed upon price are rolled into the 'Closing Costs' that are part of your final agreement. But what about the home inspection a buyer needs or wants to secure a loan? Or what about the costs of cleaning the home before final transfer that a seller has (even if you clean it yourself, you need supplies!)
These additional costs can leave some people in places where they feel unprepared because there is a need for extra cash, or there is less coming in from a sale than expected.
As a real estate sales professional, one of my responsibilities is to help make sure at every step of the process that you know what to expect, and what to pay for (or negotiate paying for). However, here is a handy outline that might help you understand better what to plan for or expect in the final sale that could adjust the amount you receive as a seller or what you need to bring to the table as a buyer.
This outline is not all-encompassing but gives you a general idea of what to prepare yourself for.
If you want to know about specific items, or any possible expenses or fees not listed, please email me at:
GENERAL areas of fees and expenses included in Closing:
Buyer usually pays
Seller usually pays
Mortgage recording fees
Documentary stamp tax
Intangible tax on mortgage
Mortgage-related fees: appraisal,
credit, survey, loan origination
Impound reserves: insurance, taxes
Stamp tax on deed