Title Tip: How Would You Like Your Money?

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By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

When selling a property, everyone wants to collect a big check. Well, maybe not an actual paper check, but lots of money. If you’re getting funds from the sale of your house, there are a couple of ways to collect your money from the title company when it closes. Just a couple.

Would you like a check or a wire? Those are your basic choices. Title companies can also transfer the funds to another transaction if you are purchasing another property. But we’re not going to pay you in real paper cash, foreign currency, with PayPal, Venmo, Bitcoin or anything else.

If you want your funds as a paper check, keep in mind that your bank is likely to put a hold on the funds, thus keeping you from accessing the money immediately. How long a bank may hold a check depends on the check amount, how long you’ve had your account and the status of your bank account.

Your check deposit will have an automatic hold between one and 10 days business days before you can withdraw the money. You read that right. Up to 10 business days = two weeks. Check with your bank for details on held checks.

Most sellers prefer to receive their funds via wire transfer to their bank account. It’s pretty quick and simple. The title company will need your bank information, including account number, routing number, bank name and how your name appears on the account. All of that information is on a check. We know, no one writes checks anymore. So, dig one out of your desk drawer and bring it to closing. Or just look up your account information on your bank web site.

Don’t fret that sharing this information is risky. We’re all about protecting your financial data. This bank information is like a roach motel (where bugs check in but they don’t check out). We can send money into your account, but we can’t draw it out.

Typically, title companies don’t need your wiring information days in advance. I prefer to get the information at the closing table, directly from the sellers. Then there isn’t a risk of email hacking regarding their funds.

Banks have different wiring deadlines, which is why title companies like to schedule closings for earlier in the day. The deadlines for processing wires often range from 2 until 4:30 in the afternoon depending on which time zone the bank is located.

Before your funds can be wired there are several steps that must take place. Both buyers and sellers must sign all documents before they are scanned and sent to the buyer’s lender for review and approval. After the lender gives funding approval and all funds to close are at the title company, proceeds can be disbursed. That can take anywhere from 15 minutes to two or three hours.

Title companies are here to ensure sellers get their money. Help me, help you – and we’ll show you the money quickly.

Opinions expressed are of the individual author for informational purposes only and not legal or tax advice. Contact an attorney or accountant to obtain advice for any issue or problem.

Lydia Blair (formerly Lydia Player) was a successful Realtor for 10 years before jumping to the title side of the business in 2015. Prior to selling real estate, she bought, remodeled and sold homes (before house flipping was an expression). She’s been through the real estate closing process countless times as either a buyer, a seller, a Realtor, and an Escrow Officer. As an Escrow Officer for Allegiance Title at Preston Center, she likes solving problems and cutting through red tape. The most fun part of her job is handing people keys or a check.

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