Checks were once the preferred method for providing closing funds to a real estate lawyer. Other options, like wiring funds or electronic transfer platforms, seemed complicated — cashier’s checks were easy to acquire from the bank and present to the lawyer, while wire transfers once involved the use of a telegraph and the sender needed to provide the bank with a series of complicated instructions and details to ensure the funds reached the desired recipient.
But the roles have since reversed — cashier’s checks are no longer the reigning king for closing, and wire transfers have evolved beyond the ancient technology of telegraphs and emerged into the electronic age. Now, even new technology has been formed like ACH transfers that can be conducted from the comfort of your own home, with little difficulty, facilitating transactions that can’t always take place face to face.
Why Electronic Transfers are Better Than Cashier’s Checks
As mentioned above, not all real estate transactions can take place in person with the real estate attorney or title agency. Mailing a check and waiting for it to arrive just isn’t that feasible. There is also the potential for fraud, and unscrupulous account holders can also reverse the funds, leaving attorneys and trust account holders in a jam. To combat this, real estate professionals often insist on waiting for a period of time to ensure the check clears, which subsequently delays the closing.
Getting a cashier’s check for a large amount often requires you to notify your bank in advance and set up an appointment. In today’s busy, fast-paced world, there simply isn’t always time for this. Plus, checks can get lost or be forged, and in a world where virtual closings are becoming a norm, checks just don’t work.
How to Better Transfer Money for Closing
If you’ve never transferred large sums of money to anyone before, the idea of doing so may seem a bit daunting at first. After all, online platforms for sending people money are more advanced and commonplace, aren’t they? Well, sort of. While online money transfer platforms such as PayPal and Venmo make it easy to send someone money, they definitely aren’t the preferred method for very large sums of cash like you might need for a real estate closing.
And, there are also several electronic payment platforms specifically designed for secure real estate transactions, but we’ll discuss that shortly. First, we’ll detail the procedure for a wire transfer via traditional means — your bank.
Wire transfers are sometimes convenient in a closing because the recipient will almost always have the money right away, ensuring the closing can proceed. To conduct a wire transfer for closing, simply talk to your bank, either in person or on the phone. In some cases, depending upon the bank, you can even set up a wire transfer online; but they still have their drawbacks.
Your real estate broker or title agency will have provided you with instructions and details regarding what account you are to wire the closing funds to. It is important that you receive this information reputably, as there is an extreme risk for real estate wire fraud. Talk in person, or on the phone and ensure you are talking to your correct representative. You will need to present this information to your bank. Of course, you also need to ensure that you have the required funds available in your account.
In person or online, you’ll fill out a wire transfer form, including the recipient’s bank account information. There may be a fee involved in initiating a wire transfer from your bank. Fees can vary depending upon how you are funding the wire transfer; funds from a debit or credit card can warrant a higher fee than a direct bank-to-bank deposit.
Once the money has been sent, it can take a few hours or up to a day to be transferred, depending on the bank and their processing schedules.
Wire transfers are often used by real estate professionals because this has become a new normal for them. Now that wire fraud in real estate transactions are on the rise, industry professionals are seeking better options.
Simpler & More Secure Way to Transfer Money
Believe it or not, there is still a simpler and even more secure way to wire money for closing, and that’s using an ACH money transfer platform designed for such transactions.
As mentioned above, such platforms for larger transactions do exist — paymints.io is one of them, and they are quickly becoming the preferred method to wire money for closing as they are more speedy, secure, and compliant.
Real estate professionals in particular appreciate a money transfer platform such as paymints.io because they can easily send a request for funds from a buyer, funds are verified, and the buyer can instantaneously send the funds, all without ever having to leave their couch or talk to their bank.
The funds are sent in an encrypted fashion and easily tracked, making it much harder for scammers or cybercriminals to acquire banking information or other sensitive details that lead to identity theft or real estate fraud.
Wire transfers via a bank are a prime target for scammers — cybercriminals that manage to hack into a real estate professionals email account can discover all sorts of information and impersonate the real estate attorney or title agency, asking for funds to be wired to an account that actually belongs to the scammer. Such scams are on the rise in America, and thousands of individuals fall victim to wire fraud scams each year, with stolen funds totaling in the millions.
The potential for such fraud is significantly diminished when wiring funds for closing through an electronic money transfer platform. Your closing should be a happy, wonderful moment — an end to a long, tedious mortgage process culminating in the joy of owning a new home. You don’t want to have to worry about wire fraud or even a bank glitch that delays your funds.
If you’re a real estate broker, attorney or title agency not already using paymints.io, we highly encourage you to request a demo so you can conduct safer, easier, quicker, and compliant transactions that facilitate the closing process.
Visit paymints.io to learn more about why this is the preferred money transfer platform for real estate professionals.