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As you well know, buying a home is not only one of the most important financial decisions of your life, but it’s also one of the most expensive. Not only are buyers putting down a large sum of money for their down payment, but they also have to take care of moving costs, renovations (if needed), furniture, earnest money deposit, and lastly…closing costs.

Closing costs are usually the second-most expensive part of the home-buying process. Since they typically cost somewhere between 2-5% of the total purchase price, buyers are trying to find ways to cut back on these costs and save as much money as possible. But, how do they go about doing so?

Listed below are the five need-to-know tips for lowering your closing costs…

Tip #1: Ask if the Seller or Your Realtor Can Contribute To Closing Costs

Sometimes, if it means the difference between getting the deal done or losing it and starting the process all over again, a seller might offer a concession to the buyer to help pay for some or all of the closing costs. This might work if the house has been on the market for a long time and if you were the only interested party. You also have the option of asking your real estate agent to use part of their commission to help out as well, if you feel comfortable asking them.

Tip #2: Shop for Services When You Can To Reduce Your Closing Costs

Once you’ve spoken to your mortgage lender and they’ve given you your loan estimate, you should also receive information from them in regards to some of the services you can shop around for. If you’re worried about closing costs, make sure you look into ways you can save elsewhere. Check with local providers and shop around when it comes to pay for inspectors, title companies, and more.

Tip #3: Ask About Lender Credits To Reduce Your Closing Costs

Ask your mortgage lender about “lender credits,” and if it’s a good option for you or not. A lender will grant you lender credits to put towards your closing costs, IF you’re willing to accept a higher interest rate on your loan.

Tip #4: Consider Selecting a Later Closing Date

During the mortgage process, you’ll need to pay for “prepaids,” which are a part of your closing costs. Prepaids cover your homeowner’s insurance, mortgage insurance, property taxes, and interest up until your first mortgage payment is due. If you decide to choose a closing date towards the end of the month, you can lower your closing costs because it helps eliminate the number of prepaid days you’ll have to cover.

Tip #5: See if There Are Assistance Programs That Can Reduce Your Closing Costs

If you’ve explored the options listed above, and you’re still worried about affording your closing costs, you can check with the housing authority in your state, or see if there are private programs in your area that offer closing cost assistance programs and grants. You may be eligible, which will ultimately help you with your situation.