Many of the buyers I work with (not only first time home buyers) have never sent a wire. While most law firms will accept a certified, bank check for an amount less than $5,000.00, amounts exceeding $5,000.00 generally must be sent to the closing attorney’s firm by wire. While it a customary practice of mine to discuss this issue during my first phone conversation with the buyer (usually made within 48 hours of receiving a purchase and sales agreement), this is not standard practice at most closing attorneys’ offices. So no matter what closing attorney is handling the transaction, it would be a great practice to address a potential wire scenario early on. Even if you address it early on (as I do), you should also remind them of this potential issue again a week or so before the closing because (as we all know) buyers have so much on his/her mind leading up to a closing and you do not want this potentially time-sensitive issue slipping his/her mind. Let me provide you a few examples of situations your client does not want to find himself/herself in.
Some people have money they plan on using for a closing in a savings account or other account that you cannot initiate a wire from. Unless the buyer learns this early on and makes other arrangements (i.e., gets a check cut from that account early), he/she may end up attempting to wire money a few days before closing and learn he/she is unable to do so in time for the closing. Another issue that may come up is that some financial institutions will not initiate a wire unless you actually go into the financial institution and initiate the wire. If his/her financial institution is not near where he/she is located, you see the issue.
The bottom line is failure to have this money ready to be wired close to the closing date may result in your client scrambling at the last minute and in some instances will delay the closing. NOTE: As part of that discussion you should advise your client to speak with his/her lender before transferring funds to confirm it is an appropriate time to do so (i.e., you do not want your client transferring money out of an account that the lender has not verified funds in yet).
As always, if you have any questions or need anything at all relating to real estate closings, trust and estates, probate and corporate matters please contact me at (912) 484-1996 or email@example.com