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Typical Closing Costs for Sellers in the St Louis Market

by Colleen Lawler

Dave Barry once described Closing Day as the place where everyone and their brother comes out of the woodwork with their hand out. Both buyers and sellers have charges at closing, and knowing about them way before closing makes your move a little less stressful!

Different areas have different customary charges for buyers and sellers.  In the St Louis area, sellers are typically responsible for:

Existing Loans

-Keep in mind that your mortgage interest is paid in arrears.  That means that if you sell your house on the 25th day of the month, your lender will collect 25 days of interest on the closing day.  Your bank may have a "fax fee" or a charge for providing a pay off, which I think is absurd, by the way!

Title Company Charges

-The title company performs the closing in Missouri, so their charges (right now $300.00 is the average) include title work and preparation of the HUD-1 closing statement.  St Louis County charges a release fee that is usually less than $100.

Municipal, Conservation District, and Fire District Inspection Fees

-These can run from about $10 to about $100.  That's the cost of the inspection...sellers most typically make any repairs required to bring the house to code.

Real Estate Commissions

-Commission is usually a percentage of the sale price.

LaClede Gas Inspection

-Laclede charges $150.00 to inspect all gas appliances and fuel runs.  If you have a gas grill that has seen better days, exclude it from inspection on your contract!!

Agreed upon Repairs

-This is a great big question mark!  There are a lot of dynamics...a buyer who may be a great handyman, or who may not know which end of a screwdriver is up.  An inspector who takes care to explain the difference between routine maintenance and disrepair.  A buyer's agent who sets realistic expectations or who sees the inpsection period as an opportunity to renegotiate the contract.  If you have concerns, have an inspection before you list your home.  Your listing agent should be able to help you anticipate and negotitate through inspections. 

When considering an offer, ask your agent for an estimate of seller closing costs based on the sale price you are negotiating and the closing date on the offer.  It's an estimate, because  you won't know about repairs until inspections are done, but hopefully it will give you enough information that you can sleep at night!


This Weekend in St Louis has Something For Everyone!!

by Colleen Lawler

Whether you enjoy football, parades, shopping, or even a boxing match, there is something for you to do in St Louis this weekend besides sitting around eating leftovers!


This benefits an incredible organization called Backstoppers, which supports the families of fallen firemen and police.  Wednesday Noverber 23, at 7:00 at the Scottrade Center.



The biggest and best parade in the midwest, with floats, bands, storybook characters, carriages, equestrian units, and SANTA CLAUS.  An early start at 8:45, but the weather should be parade-perfect!  Check out the route at



2011 High School Chamoinships are November 25 and November 26 at the Edward Jones Dome., or call 314-241-1888 or 573-875-4880.



November 25 11 am - 2 pm, and lots of dates between now and Christmas Eve.  Carolers, white lights, and deocrations, shops and restaurants!



By car is warm and fun, by horse drawn carriage is really fun and pretty warm, make this one of your family traditions!  Several years ago we took friends visiting from Europe through Tilles park on a carriage ride...they got married and now have two wonderful boys...coincidence?  I think not!


Don't just sit there, get out and have some fun this weekend!!




How did the Garden Grow? Wildwood's First Community Garden

by Colleen Lawler

We all know there are a lot of unsung heroes in this world, and frankly, if we all sang about them a little louder and little more often, they'd maybe get a little of the thanks they truly deserve!

A group of Wildwood residents set about to have a community garden this year.  My husband Jack and I were lucky enough to get a small raised bed and grow tomatoes that were safe from bunnies and deer.

Since I wrote about the beginning of the garden, it's only fair to let you know how the year went!

At a garden meeting early in the year, one of the other gardeners, much wiser than I, said that eggplant is tough to grow.  Well, we grew one!  (just one :-)

Tomatoes and green peppers and even some watermelons, but mostly I grew to respect the people that started this venture and made it more than a garden.  It is a place to learn about everything from dirt and bugs, to how much time good people will invest into an idea that has so much potential!

So,  a big thank you to Tim Woerther, Joe Vujnich, Liz Montalbano, and sweet Cindy Wright.  Wildwood is a better place because of you!

Is there a rule that if you take a photo you have to post it?

by The IrvineTeam

I saw this photo in the MLS and I just sort of wondered why in the world someone would think that this photo would be helpful in marketing a home for sale.  What does this photo say to you? 

-There is a basement

-we got tired of painting

-we are trying to hide water stains but ran short on paint

-we have extra hangers we can leave for you

-the flash didn't go off when we took this picture.

Every photo is important, and every photo should show a positive feature in its best light.  I've been collecting bad pics for a long time, and I think it would make an interesting coffee table book for real estate agents.

Should I wait until after the holidays to buy?

by The IrvineTeam

I met with a buyer today who doesn't really see himself making a decision and buying a home until January or later.

There can be lots of reasons for waiting...saving for a better downpayment, waiting for a lease to come to and end, cleaning up a credit score issue.  One of the things I've learned though, is that I KNOW what is happening today, and I have NO IDEA what will be happening tomorrow, much less months from now.  This is important when you think about interest rates, market inventory, pricing, et cetera.

Timing is always important.  Even if you aren't planning on a purchase for 3 months, learn your market by seeing homes, not just visiting them online.  If you see something that really is perfect, don't let it become the one you let get away because it didn't meet your time frame.  Talk to your agent about making an offer, and pushing that closing date out to meet your needs.

I once put a contract in on a house in January, and we closed in mid June.  It was not new construction!  It was nice to get all the inspections done, get the loan in place, and then relax and know where I was headed, even though it was a while down the road.  I don't even recall right now why the closing was so much later than contract, except that it worked for everyone and everything was pretty low stress.  The only problem was that it didn't appraise!!! A real estate agent paying too much for a house?  Who would have thought!  Because we weren't in a time crunch, I was able to work through that to everyone's relief and satisfaction as well. 

...I'll talk about the appraisal process another time, and it will be a much lengthier post!

Here come the Holidays...should I be on the market?

by The IrvineTeam

Over the years I often have sellers and potential sellers ask about whether or not it's a good idea to have their house on the market for the holidays.

Here is some food for thought:

* fewer buyers, fewer showings

...fewer interruptions but more serious showings because the tire kickers are at the mall!

*other people I know are taking their houses off the market for the holidays

...that means less competition for you!

*Can I decorate?

...houses look great when they are dressed up for the holidays, just don't overdo!

*nobody is buying over the holidays

...I have negotiated contracts successfully over every holiday on the calendar!

Certainly every family's situation is unique, but please don't assume that there is no real estate being sold this time of year...just ask my family, they've watched me sneak out to present an offer, or hide in a bedroom at my inlaws, talking on the phone with a buyer's agent on many a holiday.  Talk to your agent and do what works for you, but if you want to sell and you aren't on the market when your buyer is house hunting....

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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Photo of Colleen Lawler & The IrvineTeam Real Estate
Colleen Lawler & The IrvineTeam
Coldwell Banker Gundaker
111 Chesterfield Towne Centre
Chesterfield MO 63005
Office: 636-391-2100
Toll Free: 800-791-3276
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