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Old 01-30-2009, 06:48 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,899,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
I've never heard of that and I'm from NY and have plenty of family there too. Is this something new ?
It's been done here on Long Island for at least the past 30 years, perhaps even longer. I don't know if it's strictly a "downstate" or "metro NY" thing though... it might be. There are a few other things that are strictly-downstate phenomenons too. Were you/is your family from the NYC/LI/Westchester area, or from further upstate?

If from upstate, that may indicate that the practice is limited pretty much to where we are.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 69,893,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totallyfrazzled View Post
It's been done here on Long Island for at least the past 30 years, perhaps even longer. I don't know if it's strictly a "downstate" or "metro NY" thing though... it might be. There are a few other things that are strictly-downstate phenomenons too. Were you/is your family from the NYC/LI/Westchester area, or from further upstate?

If from upstate, that may indicate that the practice is limited pretty much to where we are.
Have a brother and sister-in-law that both live in LI and purchased homes there; neither knew of this and didn't pay any gratuity when they closed.
Could also be that they both moved from rentals in NYC to homes in LI and didn't know so they didn't do it. Both have only purchased their original homes about 15-20 years ago and are still in them.

I just have to say that is one expensive custom you have going there..giving someone who gets a salary almost $200 extra dollars. They must be raking it in as they can do up to 10 closings a day if they plan right.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 19,917,306 times
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I would also add that I just don't think in some jobs a "tip" is appropriate. There may be a few exceptions to this such as hairdressers etc. but generally, when you are supplying a professional service in a full salaried position...again, it just seems a bit odd to me to expect a tip of some type. If it's "expected" in a certain area, I'd probably do it, but ....I question the wisdom of how such a "custom" got started. Just my .02.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
16,416 posts, read 27,935,383 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Have a brother and sister-in-law that both live in LI and purchased homes there; neither knew of this and didn't pay any gratuity when they closed.
Could also be that they both moved from rentals in NYC to homes in LI and didn't know so they didn't do it. Both have only purchased their original homes about 15-20 years ago and are still in them.

I just have to say that is one expensive custom you have going there..giving someone who gets a salary almost $200 extra dollars. They must be raking it in as they can do up to 10 closings a day if they plan right.
What happens is the real estate attorney tells the buyer(s) to write the check and give it to the title closer. Are you sure they didn't pay it? Maybe the attorney didn't call it a tip but something else? Ask them if you have time. Thanks.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,899,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Love_LI_but View Post
What happens is the real estate attorney tells the buyer(s) to write the check and give it to the title closer. Are you sure they didn't pay it? Maybe the attorney didn't call it a tip but something else? Ask them if you have time. Thanks.
I agree: I bet they didn't realize it was what it was (a tip). If there's anything listed on the closing statement for a check written to an individual (not the title company itself but the person who represented them at the closing) with a notation such as "sitting fee", "pickup fee" or other vague term... That was the tip.

Most buyers are too numb from checkwriting by that time to even ask what the check they've been told to write is actually for!
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:19 PM
 
99 posts, read 574,089 times
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I agree with Buckeye! and I have never heard of this either! I'm in Maryland.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 69,893,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Love_LI_but View Post
What happens is the real estate attorney tells the buyer(s) to write the check and give it to the title closer. Are you sure they didn't pay it? Maybe the attorney didn't call it a tip but something else? Ask them if you have time. Thanks.
And these "closers" get $175 a closing, off the books and keep it ?
That could add up to some big bucks per week.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:26 PM
 
4,542 posts, read 11,547,065 times
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Tip the closer?? :-0 That is crazy.
If it's not on the HUD don't pay it!
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,329,796 times
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I did not tip my attorney.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:41 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,899,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe moving View Post
I did not tip my attorney.
Attorneys don't get tipped here on Long Island either (they're already getting $1000 or so as a fee). But they're not the 'title person'. The 'title person' works for whatever company has done the title search/issued the title policies for the buyer (and for the buyer's lender if there is one) and attends the closing.

The way it works here is this: Mr Jones is buying a house. Ms Smith is Mr Jones' attorney. After contract, Ms Smith orders the required title search/title policy from ABC Title Company. Mr Joe Black, who works for ABC Title Company, attends the closing in order to take care of the title company's end of the paperwork and collect the title company's fee (which averages $5000 or so including various taxes). At the closing Ms Smith tells Mr Jones what checks he has to write, among which will be ".. and a check for $150 to Joe Black". That $150 is variously called, in the closing documents, a 'pickup fee', 'sitting fee', or if the attorney is particularly straightforward 'title closer gratuity' when listed among all the other items on the Closing Statement which Ms Smith later sends to Mr Jones so that he knows where all his money went.

The title company person is the only one at the closing table who gets tipped.

And yes, being a title closer can bring in a nice little income. As for whether the person reports it as income, well... I guess that depends on each title company's stance on that matter. I'm sure it varies between "it's entirely the closer's responsibility" to "must be reported on the company's books" to "we don't wanna know about it".
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