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House Calls: Readers Offer Corrections

Edith Lank on

Another Settlement Error

Edith: I have a comment on your recent article on closings. A first-time buyer had questions, and you advised to have the certified check or money order made out to himself and endorse it over at the closing. I work for an attorney, and in my area, title companies will now only accept checks made out to the title company.

With technology, people can deposit checks by taking pictures of them. Apparently, some people deposited the check made out to themselves back into their account, so when the title company went to cash it, it was no longer good!

Also, if the amount to be brought to the closing is $50,000 or greater, the funds must be wired to the title company. (I don't know if that is a state law or a federal law.) Just wanted to let you know. -- C. R.

Answer: Thanks for the information.

And here's a reader commenting on a different column question:

Using a Relative

Hi, Edith: I think those people whose nephew has just gotten his real estate license should stick with the Realtor who has been doing a good job marketing their home. Their nephew has no experience and is probably still way down in the learning curve. They'd take a step backward in their efforts to sell their current house and buy a smaller one.


Plus -- and to me this is the biggest thing -- it is probably not good business to have this kind of relationship with a family member. The same logic applies to a neighbor or close friend. This kind of contractual relationship needs to be at arm's length. People I've known who used a Realtor who was a friend, family member or neighbor almost to a man regretted it. -- J. P.

Answer: Well, yes, my advice was to stay with the broker who has already invested time and effort and given them excellent service.

But in general, if they weren't already involved with a good agent, it might be different. It depends on the individuals. An experienced broker can often provide the best service, but sometimes a well-supervised beginner with no other clients will work extra-hard to find the right buyer.

If they don't employ their relative, it's helpful to explain why. Perhaps the chosen broker specializes in the neighborhood or gave good service in the past or -- as in the situation you commented on -- has already invested time and effort in marketing the property.


Contact Edith Lank at, at or at 240 Hemingway Drive, Rochester NY 14620.

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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