Closing questions - wire transfer of funds, utilities, etc

jenswrensJuly 5, 2009

So, fingers crossed, we are scheduled to close on our Minnesota house this Wednesday. I have a few questions.

1) As sellers, we have to pay a large sum of money at closing, which will be coming from our savings account. Our closing agent told us not to worry about certified checks or whatever - that we should do a wire transfer on Monday directly to the buyer's closing agent. Does that sound right? It seems odd to send the money to the buyer's agent 2 days prior to close. What happens if we don't close? I thought all monies were to be transferred at the time of closing. Since my bank is out of state, I don't even know if I can get a certified check for that large amount at this late date.

2) What about utilities, phone, etc? Do I need to schedule a last meter reading? When do I have all that turned off? And is that paid at closing or do I get a final bill from the companies later?


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2) First thing Monday morning, call all the utility companies and tell them what is happening. Keep the electricity, water, gas in your name until Thursday or maybe even Friday in case the closing doesn't happen. At the same time, the buyers should be calling and setting up utility accounts in advance of moving in.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 6:50PM
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Are you going thru a Title Company? they are the ones who need the money. I am surprised your closing agent is requesting a wire transfer. I am not sure if you can do it from a savings account, or by not signing the papers in person. Also they buyer and sellers have different closing accounts, not one as they pay for different fees etc. All closing costs fees as a seller, were paid for from the check we received from the escrow company. We did not pay anything out of any account. (CA). Don't know about other states. Hope other people can be more helpful.
Just a note: I personally would not wire transfere any money.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 9:13PM
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I sold my Illinois house to a New York couple last fall and all was handled by a lawyer and wire transfer. It all went very smoothly and there were no problems whatsoever. There is a bit of paperwork involved so I wouldn't be concerned with a couple days in advance. They hold the monies until the proper time. What graywings said is correct also. It will all work out! : )


    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 10:46PM
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I guess I can't figure out how you, as sellers, would be paying out any cash at all unless you are selling the house close to or below what you owe?
Your HUD-1 or settlement sheet should show the buyers' and sellers' expenses and the bottom line is the net for each of you.
Your side of the sheet will show something like: contract price minus your mortgage payoff, minus commission minus whatever else you agreed to pay for, bottom line equals the amount that the title company will wire transfer to your account. Ours automatically subtracted the cost of the termite inspection (buyer cost) and the termite mitigation (seller cost) and even our intermediary expenses for our 1031 exchange. So we had no expenses out of pocket related to the sale.
As far as utilities, graywings is absolutely right. It's no big deal. Don't forget about trash/sewer.
And my personal warning, the closing isn't complete until the money is in your bank. Verify your account balance and then you can uncross your fingers.
Good luck and congrats on the sale of your house!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 8:05AM
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Not that it matters since you are already bringing a large sum of money to the table but I would prefer to bring the check for 2 reasons. Just in case there is no closing and I know my bank charges significantly more for a wire transfer. I would hate to lose any money on the house and then have the bank rub salt in my wounds. Insignificant in the whole scheme of things I know but I am cheap like that ;)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 10:01AM
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I guess I can't figure out how you, as sellers, would be paying out any cash at all unless you are selling the house close to or below what you owe?

Bingo! That's what's happening, unfortunately. I don't care - I'm just happy to be selling. BUT I don't want to get screwed in the process.

It seems weird that the money would go the buyer's closing person and not our closing person who should then use it pay off our loan. (yes, we're using a title company.)

I guess I don't really understand all the logistics of closing. And what is an escrow company? Is that the same thing as the title company? (I don't know if we have an escrow company or not.) I have never understood that word "escrow." It's like purgatory to me - some weird untouchable place where money goes to hang out in limbo. My fear is that my $xx,xxx will go there and if we don't close may never come back again.

I'm pretty sure we're going with the cashier's check now. Just have to get it fedexed at this point.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:30PM
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Yes, I think that advice to wire the money is highly odd.
I would not do it in case the closing does not happen you cannot suck your money back through cyberspace.

I would call the closing agent directly and see what they expect (unless you have an attorney... then that is your go-to person on this question). In my state there is only one title closer present at the transaction.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 3:57PM
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A single closing agent usually handles the transaction for both sides.
In states with 'wet' closings (actual money changes hands) the general rule is that 'collected funds' must be used.
That is certified checks, wire transfers, or occasionally a local bank cashiers check.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 9:25PM
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Wire transfer of funds when the funds to close exceed $25,000 is now standard. Sine banks are putting a 7 to 10 day "hold" period" on even certified or cashiers check funds, it is the rare title company that is willing/able to go out on a limb for multiple transaactions involving multiple thousands each.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 12:20AM
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Our home sale was delayed a month from the original closing date, due to delays on the buyers property!

The buyers for his property were turned down for a loan and were shopping for another bank. In the end our buyer got a 'bridge' loan.

We had a bad, yes bad REA. We had a no contingency clause on our contract with her, but she did one under the table with the buyers agent anyway. She took it off the market even though it didn't close on the contract date.

Thanks to this forum I read about 'bridge' loans after the supposed closing, and insisted on this if the buyer was still serious about purchasing our property.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 3:16PM
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I do escrow :) sorry it scares you!! So hopefully I can answer any questions. Since the advent of the counterfeit cashier's check a lot of title/escrow companies are requiring wire transfers. it takes too long to verify if a cashier's check is real or fraudulent and by the time we figure it out we could have disbursed funds and be out the $$. Not good! Wire transfers are collected funds and therefore good to disburse immediately. If your transaction doesn't close you should be able to get the $$ back right away.

I'm not sure why your buyer would have a different closing agent...that's kind of confusing to me.

Hope that's helped some...if you have any other questions I might be able to help!


    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 12:58AM
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Why are there two closing agents? If there are two closing agents, then wire the funds to your agent.
Another note... keep your home insurance active on the home for about a week AFTER the proposed closing date. You can always cancel the policy the moment the closing is recorded. Do not even go one minute w/o insurance on the home.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 7:57AM
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I have a big problem I wire money for a house to a Title Company and My agent had a other client and they use my money to pay for the house I wanted to buy. I don't know how the title company allow my agent to use my money to buy that house without me signing a release what can I do? I heard from another Title company that I might be able to get my house back and my money I just hire a lawyer but I am also looking for advise. Is in Florida and we wire the money from New Jersey

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 11:25PM
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I would tell them if the funds are not wired back to my account within an hour, I will be immediately calling the States Attorney's office and charging them with theft and possibly wire fraud.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 8:22AM
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