Please put down the Guns – let’s just get to the closing!

Real Estate Agent with United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

When he told me, "I will just bring cash! It's legal tender!  No one can refuse my cash! "

I pictured him walking into the closing room, guns on both hips, spurs on his boots and a huge bag of cash thrown over his shoulder; something out of an old western, for sure!

He was upset when I told him that his cash purchase meant he would have to wire the funds to the closing company.

He was furious about paying wire fees, because his money was in a few different banks.

This is a transaction well over $100,000.  I said, "No, please don't bring cash; the title company will not accept it, that is too dangerous to be carrying that much cash."

...........THEN HE SAID:

"I'm protected by Smith & Wesson"

"Well, the closer is not - she cannot be expected to carry that much cash to the bank and cash in excess of $9,999.99 will be reported to the Federal Government.  They want to be sure you are not laundering drug money through your Real Estate Transactions."

A flash of Scarface, guns, and two big guys carrying briefcases filled with cash, flashes through my mind.




Title Companies and Attorneys are refusing to accept cashier's checks, also - especially in "cash transactions" because many fraudulent checks have been presented.  Funds must be immediately accessible in order for the Closing Company to disburse the payoffs, pay the taxes, the seller, and all other related charges associated with the closing.

In a Real Estate transaction involving a new loan, the lender has verified buyer's funds that are available to close, and a buyer's In-State cashier's check will generally be accepted.


A "cash" transaction will require wired funds.

Verify with your Real Estate Agent and the Title Company what type of funds are acceptable to close

Reluctantly, my buyer agreed to wire the funds for his closing,

to forget about Smith & Wesson, and to forget about the Cash.



Mary Douglas, your Mountain Broker-Associate and REALTOR®

United Country  Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, CO ---800-531-2195

"A Day in the Mountains will always soothe your city soul"

The information contained in Mary's blog is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed, and the opinions and        views expressed in these articles are solely those of the author.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor® 06/01/2009 10:18 AM
Home Buying
Rookies Turning Pro
Almost Anything Goes
Club Chaos
Addicted to Active Rain
cash buyers
cashier checks
funds necessary to close
closing funds

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Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Mary,

What an entertaining post! Love the pictures. No cash @ closings..Title companies are not banks!

Jun 01, 2009 02:43 PM #58
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Good grief -- let's hope we do not need guns in the title offices.

Jun 01, 2009 03:09 PM #59
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Kristi !  I'm glad you liked the pictures, and you're right - the consumer really doesn't understand it, and that's not their fault.


Dorie, I know most title companies would agree!  Thanks - I'm glad you liked the pics & the post :-)


Bob and Carolin, hopefully the agents can help keep the guns out of the title offices!

Jun 01, 2009 03:20 PM #60
Roland Woodworth
Q Realty - Clarksville, TN
Q Realty - Power In Real Estate

Got to love cash.. Unfortunately... there is a time and place for cash and the closing of a real estate transaction is not one of them. So many new guidelines like you said even on cashiers checks.

Jun 01, 2009 04:49 PM #61
Gerry Khatchikian
Red Lodge, MT


Congratulations on the feature!  You sure deserved one for this post.   Then again, you have a talent for writing great posts and I enjoy reading them all.

Gerry's AR signature


Jun 01, 2009 04:59 PM #63
Christianne O'Malley
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Reno, NV
Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno!

I think it's ridiculous that title companies are not taking cashier's checks anymore. A simple phone call could verify the check. I don't agree that clients should have to wire funds. It should be their choice and a little legwork on the part of the escrow company could resolve a the fraud issues.

Jun 01, 2009 05:01 PM #64
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Roland, I love cash!! Fifty dollars in my purse, and I feel "rich" LOL!! But you're right -for real estate transactions -- cash is not a good choice.


Gerry, thanks for coming back! I appreciate your kind words! and  from one "Red" to another , thank you.


Christianne,I understand your way of thinking.   When I worked at the title company, I called to confirm many checks... the way I see it is this: when the title company deposits the check - that check is put on hold,  in the meantime they are supposed to wire ( or express) the payoff, taxes, commissions etc. Technically( in my realm of experience) they are using other funds --from other closings to pay off someone else's loan, and charges associated with the closing. This isn't really the way an escrow account is suppose to work, as each file is it's own "trust account" so to speak

I am only familiar with Colorado --- your state may be different.


Jun 01, 2009 05:26 PM #65
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Mary - You ARE in the wild, wild west.  Pretty bizarre that he would want to trust anyone else with his money, S & W, or not.  He certainly had some point to prove.

Jun 01, 2009 05:26 PM #66
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Sally, he certainly reminded me of the wild wild west.... where is Marshall Dillon when you really need him??!!  LOL!!  I agree, it is bizarre , without a paper trail why would you give someone that much cash?

Jun 01, 2009 05:35 PM #67
Kimberly Thurm
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff, Naperville, IL - Naperville, IL
Broker / Relocation Consultant ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR

Hi Mary,

A couple of years ago I had a buyer client show up to closing with his down-payment in cash....all $45,000 of it.  He just kept pulling money out of his pockets.  You see we were closing in the seller's attorney's office and he was a title agent for the title company and had a closer there.  Now, I have been doing this for a long time and the attorneys I was working with have been in real estate even longer.  I smiled and waited for one of the attorneys to say that the buyer would have to go and get a bank check.  But Nooooo.  The seller's attorney looked at the buyer's attorney and said you count that pile and I'll count this one.  And they did, both counting away and we closed.  I thought that was so wild.  Just when you think you know this business, something new pops up all the time.  ~ Kim


Jun 01, 2009 06:04 PM #68
Cherry Temple
Real Living At The Beach - Myrtle Beach, SC

For me it is a principal of it all issue.  If the title company, which we don't have to use here insists on a type of funds, then they need to be prepared to pay for it.

Jun 02, 2009 12:20 AM #69
Gail MacMillan
Titusville, FL

My Goodness sure do live a wild life out thar in them hills.  I couldn't imagine this scenario in my area.  Another amusing Red Feather story ;-)

Jun 02, 2009 12:22 AM #70
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Another well deserved featured post Mary!

If buyers had a little more knowledge about how it all works in a Real Estate transaction scenarios like the one you depicted here wouldn't happen.

Great job informing your buyer about the legalities of what his actions could have brought upon him and everyone involved.

Jun 02, 2009 12:49 AM #71
Caren Wallace
Premier Property Group LLC - Tualatin, OR
Portland Caren Real Estate

Mary, It makes me long for the days that cash was king, all that new fangled stuff makes my head hurt! Okay, wire transfers are alot more practical.....push the button, not the envelope!

Jun 02, 2009 01:07 AM #72
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

I agree with Gary...they are idots.  CASH....omg what's wrong with cash, it's the best!  I love cash and the color of it.

Patricia Aulson/Portsmouth NH

Jun 02, 2009 03:12 AM #73
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Kim, that's a great story! Sounds like the attorney was calm as a cucumber, and didn't miss a beat!


Hi Cherry, I'm not sure that line of thinking will work - but I do wish you well.


Hi Gail, You can imagine it... the second line of the post says "I pictured him"...he really didn't come in with guns a blazing! LOL!!


Hi Craig, Thanks - I guess our job is to get our buyers to the table without any hiccups! They don't know what will work- but we do.  I loved his Maverick spirit, but knew it wouldn't fly.


Caren, I like your line ".....push the button, not the envelope!" that's a good one - I'll save that one!


Patricia - I love the color of cash, too! I read Gary's comment differently, though.


Thanks everyone, I appreciate your thoughts today!

Jun 02, 2009 05:10 AM #74
Debi Boucher
Real Estate Showcase Photography - Woodland Park, CO
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours

Oh Mary!!!! LOL Only in the west, huh? This is great... "Rocky Mountain Wild" used to refer to the animals.....


Jun 02, 2009 09:27 AM #75
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Debi, Well at least you usually know what to expect with the animals! LOL!! People are always surprising -- interesting and surprising.

Jun 02, 2009 11:25 AM #76
Andrew Haslett
Van Warren Home Inspections, NAHI CRI - Fort Knox, KY
Heartland of Kentuckynulls, Best Home Inspector

Mary, lots of people found this funny. Hmmmm.

I wouldn't say that it was ha ha funny. Maybe, ironic kind of funny.

But, then again, I was making a cash transaction, and find it annoying to have to pay over $30 in wire fees -- and it took 3 days for the wire from the date of order to the date of confirmed receipt. Heck, what happened to automatic deposits and automatic debits: they are free.

Jun 04, 2009 03:45 PM #77
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Andrew, Many people find it annoying, and it can be a huge obstacle-- depending on the state or locality ( because different areas accept different forms of payment at closing, as in the comments above).  It was written in good fun, of course it's not fun or funny to pay to have the bank send someone your money.

This was actually part 2 of a post called "At Closing: It's all about the Money" I hope you will read that one too, because, quite frankly, I don't understand the banking business, but I mostly understand the closing business.

Jun 04, 2009 04:24 PM #78
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