The REALTOR® you hire will work diligently to negotiate the contract terms you want and/or need.  Below are some upfront expenses you should prepare for:

PLEASE NOTE:  The figures listed below are ESTIMATES and can be negotiated between a Buyer and a Seller.

(Consult your REALTOR® for the most beneficial terms that fit your specific needs)

Earnest Money Be prepared to pay at least 1% of the purchase price NEGOTIABLE. Earnest Money is offered in “good faith” to show seriousness in an offer.


Your Earnest Money deposit is typically applied towards your Down Payment and/or Closing Costs on closing day.

Have this money available when you write up your offer. As soon as your offer is accepted, this will be deposited into Escrow with your Closing Office.
Option Fee $10+/Day (typical) NEGOTIABLE. An Option Fee is payable to a seller for the right to terminate a contract for any reason during an Option Period. An Option Period can be any number of days. (Five to ten days is customary.)


This can be refunded to you on closing day.

Have this money available when you write up your offer. As soon as your offer is accepted, your payment will be delivered to the Seller.
Home Inspection $285+ Not mandatory, but highly recommended. Fees vary by Inspector, square footage, and location. Additional fees may apply for additional amenities (e.g. appliances, pools) Home Inspections are typically scheduled and paid for during an Option Period. Some inspectors might bill at closing. Call inspectors to inquire.
WDI Inspection $75+ May or may not be required by your lender. Call to inquire. WDI: “Wood Destroying Insect” – this includes termites and carpenter ants. During an option period (usually within the first few days after the purchase contract is executed). Some inspectors may bill at closing. Call to inquire.
Appraisal* $525+ If you’re obtaining financing, this will be scheduled by your lender. Most lenders require payment when scheduling. Appraisals are typically ordered shortly after the Option Period Expires.
TOTAL UPFRONT EXPENSES for a $150,000 sales price $2,455 +/- 



BASED ON THE MINIMUMS NOTED WITH A 7-DAY OPTION PERIOD. This is money you should have available when making an offer. Once your offer is accepted, the clock will start ticking on deadlines. It’s imperative that funds be readily available.

*Appraisal: An appraisal is arranged by the mortgage lender.  An Appraiser offers an opinion of value (fair market value) of the home you are trying to buy.  A home inspector and an Appraiser are two different inspectors.

The Appraisal Report is used by the lender to make sure they are not lending more than what the home is worth.  Some lenders collect the Appraisal Fee upfront, before ordering the Appraisal.

NOTE: If you qualify for Down Payment and Closing Cost assistance, the $2,455 estimate might be all you need to buy your new home.  

“CLOSING COSTS” AND “PREPAIDS” are separate from your “Down Payment”: For buyers not using financial assistance/grants, you may need to pay part or all of the following ON CLOSING DAY:

  • Down Payment*
  • Closing Costs*
  • Pre-Paid Items*

*Click HERE to learn about Down Payments, Closing Costs and Prepaids.

HELPFUL TIP… if you need closing cost assistance but don’t qualify for a Down Payment Assistance Program, DON’T WORRY! We can STILL help get some or all of your closing costs and/or Prepaids covered by the Seller (or Builder)!  ASK ME HOW.

“Coaching First-Time Texas Home Buyers and Sellers.” 

If you still have questions about the home buying process, I am at your service SEVEN DAYS A WEEK!  I keep my phone on after 5:00 pm to help accommodate your busy work schedule.  I’m “on-call”, even after everyone else clocks out!


Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.


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