You need to be aware of a scam where hackers are able to hack into the email accounts of real estate brokers and others to get details of closing transactions. They then send emails to the closing agent, directing a change to the disbursement instructions.
In a most recent incident that occurred this past Friday, a closing agent sent an email to all of the parties in a transaction letting them know that the transaction had closed and the funds had been disbursed. A party member who could not attend asked to pick up their check on Monday. Monday morning the closing agent received an email from the absent party member that it would be more convenient if the funds could be wired instead. Coincidentally, while the closing agent was in the process of initiating the wire transfer, the absent party member sent a text message asking when would be a good time to pick up the check.
As it turns out, the absent party member never emailed the closing agent and the account the funds were to be wired to was not his account!
To prevent this from happening to you, do not rely on instructions received by email, no matter how good the email looks, or how many specific details the email sender provides. These hackers are good.
In my own practice, I ask that all disbursement instructions are provided in writing and notarized. Any changes to such disbursement instructions requires a my personal verification and a new notarized disbursement instruction sheet.
Most people think of a title closing experience as a pain in the rump…two hours of sitting in a room and signing a bunch of papers. But the right title closing agent can change all of that. Closing day should end with everyone smiling because every person sitting at the table walks away with something–the buyer gets a house, the seller gets the proceeds of the sale, the real estate agents get their commission and the title agent gets their fees as well. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Providing great customer service is how you can make sure your clients walk away happy enough to come back and pass positive feedback along to others. Making sure everything is organized so that the whole process runs smoothly is just one step to a successful closing. Another is being able to handle the unexpected without anyone in the room taking notice.
Patchen Law had a special Halloween closing and the new home owners walked away all smiles! They loved their gifts of chocolates and the housewarming bamboo plant I presented to them.
But what made the day even better was hearing my client tell me, “Heather I’ve done this before, but you made the whole process so smooth and we actually had fun too!”