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Who pays fees buyer or seller?

 My siblings and I own equal shares of our late mother's house. We are selling it to one of our brothers. The buying brother's lawyer has charged $4700 for preparing, recording and conveyance fees. Who normally pays these fees? The buyer or seller or both? Also, does this amount sound reasonable for a home sold for $70k?  Thanks in advance.
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December 13 2010 - Orlando
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Answers (3)

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No, in my opinion it is not reasonable for the lawyer to charge anybody $4700 for a boiler plate contract to purchase. Since you did not choose the attorney or negotiate the fees, I would offer to split the cost with your brother to keep the family peace and no more than that.
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December 13 2010

As a realtor, I can only address typical closing fees, and not any fees the attorney may have charged to negotiate the sale between the siblings. Whereas there are fees that are typically paid by one side or the other, all fees are negotiable. Doc stamps on the deed are usually paid by the seller, and would be $490 on a $70K sale (70 cents per $100). Title insurance is also usually paid by the seller, and they should be $402.50. The attorney will also charge a settlement fee, and that varies between title companies, but can be anywhere from $350 on up - and double the amount, as it will be on both the buyers and seller side of the transaction. There are other miscellaneous fees, but those are the big ones. Good luck! 

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December 13 2010
It sounds to me like the seller would pay these fees as this is comparable to when a seller hires a Realtor to list their home.  However, the lawyer is doing nothing more than writing up a contract so perhaps it would be best to split the fees.  I would talk to all sellers and buyers who are involved in this transaction and come to terms as to what you all believe is fair.  You have no Realtor to do this for you since you did not hire one so it is up to all parties involved to do this.  As for the lawyers fees, the only way to really find out if you are being charged too much is to call around and get estimates from other lawyers.
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December 13 2010
 
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