Contact the real estate agent that you have hired to represent you throughout the transaction. Real estate professionals will have access to figures and assessments needed to provide sellers and buyers with an initial estimate of all closing settlement costs for a property.
Request the contact information for the escrow officer at the title company representing you as an independent third party in the closing process. The escrow officer will be in charge of ordering the title commitment as well as issuing the title insurance policy. It is her responsibility to contact the seller of a property should any liens be discovered on the title, preventing it from being issued as a clean title. The escrow officer can also assist the seller with the process of clearing or disputing liens discovered on a property.
Speak to the escrow officer about obtaining a preliminary settlement statement. This should closely match the preliminary statement issued by your real estate professional in step 1. The preliminary title report received from the escrow officer, however, will also include any applicable fees that an agent might not account for, as those are issued directly from the title company. It is important to remember that the figures issued by both the agent and the title company are estimates, and can change based on whether or not the transaction closes on time, or needs to be extended. While a preliminary title report can show a seller a good faith estimate of costs associated with the real estate transaction, the final amount might end up being less or more, depending on factors that the agent and title company cannot control, such as property tax figures and any liens showing on the property that are discovered at the time of closing.