When does the seller get paid after closing?
How long closing takes can vary depending on a few different factors. Generally speaking, you can receive your home sale proceeds on the same day that you close — meaning you and the buyer have settled, signed all the correct documents, and your deed or title has been recorded by your county of residence.
There is usually a gap between the documents being signed and the deed or title being recorded, and another gap between the deed being recorded and funds being released, says Overman.
“From the time that the seller signs the paperwork until the time the deed or the title depending on the state is recorded, there’s a lot of gray area,” Overman shares, “because the seller’s already signed away their rights, but it’s not officially recorded yet.”
As long as all your documents are filed before your bank’s cut-off time — when they stop receiving new requests for the day — you should be able to get your funds within a few hours. This is true for the vast majority of states, called “wet states,” a reference to the ink still being wet on the page when you receive your funds.
However, nine states allow “dry closings,” where a gap can exist between signing the paperwork and payment being initiated. In dry states, after you sign all the documents, it can take a few days to receive the funds.
The dry funding states are:
- New Mexico
If you live in one of these states, you should check with your real estate professional and closing agent to get an estimate on when you might get your money. But typically, it should be within four days.
Wire fraud has become a tremendous issue all across the world because of technology and how easy it is for skilled hackers to intercept and manipulate emails. And they even make phone calls to folks claiming that they’re from the title office or the attorney’s office and that they’re in need of their banking information.
Real Estate Agent
Real Estate Agent at The Overman Group, Inc.
- Years of Experience
- Average Price Point
- Single Family Homes
Should I get a wire transfer or a check?
Additionally, the way you receive your funds can affect how fast you get them. Some sellers choose to receive their funds through a wire transfer, while others prefer to receive a paper check.
A wire transfer can take between 24 to 48 hours to process but is usually available in your account within one business day. Meanwhile, a paper check could be available right at the time of closing but will need to be deposited and cleared, and a bank can often hold that deposit for up to seven days. Both Smith and Overman recommend their clients use old-fashioned checks for security’s sake. Overman knows of a local agent who recently lost a client’s funds through a wire fraud case.
“Wire fraud has become a tremendous issue all across the world because of technology and how easy it is for skilled hackers to intercept and manipulate emails,” she said. “And they even make phone calls to folks claiming that they’re from the title office or the attorney’s office and that they’re in need of their banking information.”
Overman encourages clients who do choose to get a wire transfer to be careful when giving banking information over the phone or internet and ensure the person they’re talking to is really who they say they are.
How to get paid as much as possible
In addition to getting your money as quickly as possible, you of course want to get as much money as possible from your home sale. The easiest way to ensure you’re getting the most value for your house is by working with a top real estate agent. An agent can help price your home right, negotiate with buyers, and market your home so that it gets the most eyes on it possible.
“Much like if there is a sale at a national store, they can’t get folks in if that marketing never goes out to let those people know that those items are on sale,” Overman explains. “And real estate works the same way. This is just a much larger product that we’re working with.”
HomeLight can help connect you with an experienced real estate agent in your area based on your selling situation. According to our findings, the top 5% of real estate agents can help secure up to 10% more for your home than an average real estate agent.
Header Image Source: (Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock)