You’ve finally reached the home stretch of buying your new home. After months of searching, making offers, negotiations, and inspections, closing day is almost here. You likely have a million things on your mind as you prepare for this big day. One key task is getting a cashier’s check for the closing costs. This seems simple enough, but timing is everything when it comes to getting this check. Here’s what you need to know about the best time to get your cashier’s check for closing.
When Should I Get My Cashier’s Check For Closing?
Get your cashier’s check no more than 1 day before closing. Closing figures may change last minute, carrying a large check is risky, and a cashier’s check can be difficult to replace. Schedule a bank appointment 1-2 days ahead to get the certified check, allowing time to securely get it to closing. Same-day is ideal if possible. Follow this timeframe for a smooth closing.
What is a Cashier’s Check and Why Do You Need One?
Also known as a bank check, a cashier’s check is a check issued by a bank and drawn on the bank’s own funds. Essentially, the bank verifies upfront that it has the cash to back the check. This makes a cashier’s check more secure than a personal check, which could bounce.
For a real estate closing, the buyer is required to either wire funds or, if the total cash to close amount is below the cashier’s check threshold, they may bring a cashier’s check for the closing costs. This usually includes the down payment, closing fees, prepaid property taxes and insurance, and any other costs outlined on the CD (Closing Disclosure form). A wire or cashier’s check ensures the buyer has the funds available so the sale can close smoothly.
Why You Shouldn’t Get the Check Too Far Ahead?
It’s understandable to want to get the cashier’s check well in advance of closing to cross this task off your list. However, it’s best not to get the check too far ahead of time. Here’s why:
- Closing figures can change up until the last minute. As the closing date nears, there may be slight adjustments to the final numbers. Getting the check too early means you may have to get a new one issued.
- Carrying around a large cashier’s check is risky. If lost or stolen, it can be very difficult to cancel and reissue a new one. The bank will likely make you wait several days or weeks before they’ll reissue the funds.
- Checks expire after 90 days. If there are any delays in closing, an early check may expire before it can be used. This again means you’ll have to go to the trouble of getting a new one.
The Ideal Timeframe
Given the potential hassles, when is the best time to obtain your cashier’s check?
Get it no more than 1 day prior to the closing date. This gives you time to go to the bank and get the check, while minimizing risks. Same-day is even better if possible.
Tips To Get the Cashier’s Check on Time
- Confirm the exact amount needed 1-2 days before closing with your real estate agent, lender or attorney. The check should generally be made payable to the title company, but confirm with your attorney or the title company first.
- Schedule an appointment with your bank. Walk-ins may result in long wait times.
- Align the appointment with your work schedule so you can go to the bank during business hours.
- If getting the check same-day, allow enough time to get to the closing. Don’t cut it too close!
Follow this ideal timeframe, and you’ll check this key closing task off your list with no hassles. The home stretch towards the closing day is exciting yet hectic. Take a breath, cross each task off your list, and soon you’ll have the keys to your new home!