Actually, keep them out but maybe don’t be so quick to open them up. Smart consumers know the rule, if you are looking for a service you should get three bids. So why does it feel different when shopping for a home loan? For starters the process is a bit arduous, a lot of sensitive information is collected by each lender, your credit gets a check, and to top it all off, its an area where most of us aren’t terribly educated. But according to Bankrate senior analyst “Home buyers have more say over closing costs than they think…Cost’s do vary between lenders…you don’t have to go with the lender your agent suggests.” So set your fears aside and get your three quotes, you’ll get more savvy with each lender you talk to and potentially save yourself a few hundred dollars.

Here are a few take away’s from the June 2015 Study by Bankrate

  • Homeowners who shopped around for mortgages and settlement services saw closing costs drop as much as 7 percent.
  • Buyers in Hawaii paid $2,163 in closing fees. Buyers in Ohio had the lowest closing costs, paying only $1,613.
  • Nationwide, the average origination fee declined 22 percent to $1,041, and the average third-party fee rose 22 percent to $807.

To arrive at these conclusions, Bankrate surveyed up to 10 lenders in each state in June 2015 and obtained online Good Faith Estimates for a $200,000 mortgage to buy a single-family home with a 20 percent down payment in a prominent city. On a $200,000 loan, the national average for closing costs is $1,847.

Closing costs

StateAverage origination feesAverage third-party feesAverage origination plus third-party fees
Alabama$1,066$776$1,842
Alaska$935$922$1,857
Arizona$1,208$761$1,969
Arkansas$1,057$760$1,817
California$937$896$1,834
Colorado$1,192$719$1,910
Connecticut$1,074$960$2,033
Delaware$904$924$1,828
District of Columbia$1,077$718$1,794
Florida$1,028$778$1,806
Georgia$1,058$821$1,879
Hawaii$1,033$1,130$2,163
Idaho$894$788$1,682
Illinois$1,080$767$1,847
Indiana$1,067$770$1,837
Iowa$1,161$762$1,923
Kansas$1,047$753$1,800
Kentucky$1,060$737$1,797
Louisiana$1,060$817$1,877
Maine$897$830$1,727
Maryland$1,093$742$1,835
Massachusetts$905$851$1,756
Michigan$1,072$746$1,818
Minnesota$1,067$689$1,757
Mississippi$1,046$837$1,884
Missouri$1,040$792$1,833
Montana$1,062$855$1,917
Nebraska$1,047$770$1,817
Nevada$1,002$848$1,850
New Hampshire$1,084$750$1,835
New Jersey$1,181$913$2,094
New Mexico$1,076$876$1,952
New York$1,032$879$1,911
North Carolina$1,036$875$1,911
North Dakota$1,045$791$1,836
Ohio$933$681$1,613
Oklahoma$1,027$734$1,761
Oregon$1,080$785$1,864
Pennsylvania$1,055$678$1,733
Rhode Island$1,093$802$1,896
South Carolina$1,058$837$1,895
South Dakota$1,055$704$1,759
Tennessee$1,033$773$1,806
Texas$1,031$833$1,864
Utah$909$788$1,697
Vermont$1,074$862$1,936
Virginia$1,050$787$1,837
Washington$1,077$824$1,901
West Virginia$1,067$904$1,971
Wisconsin$1,047$723$1,770
Wyoming$874$814$1,689
Average$1,041$807$1,847

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), enacted by Congress in 1974, provides that consumers may shop for and select required settlement services for their real estate transactions — not just on price, but also on service and experience.

There you have it, no one, not even your REALTOR can tell you who to get your loan with. Don’t let your unfamiliarity with the process put your smart consumer practices aside. It does pay to shop for your home loan.

Thank you to Inman for providing the basis for this article.