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Old 01-28-2009, 07:46 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,897,895 times
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There's a bit of discussion about this in a thread at our "home" (Long Island) forum and some people are wondering whether this is a regional or a national thing (or not).

It has always been common practice hereabouts for the title company's rep who attends the closing to be given a "tip" by the buyer. As recently as the mid 1990s the gratuity was $75. Nowadays it has risen to $150 and in some cases as much as $175. Ouch.

So, just wondering:
(a) Is it standard practice for the title company person to receive a "gratuity" at the closing, in your area?
(b) If so, what's the going rate for it? and
(c) Whereabouts are you located?
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:01 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 34,966,446 times
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Heck if I know! It never even occurred to me to tip someone who is already getting paid to do this service. They make a few hundred bucks, right? Why would I tip them? If they're expecting X amount of dollars, then they should just charge X amount of dollars.

I live in the Chicago suburbs, and we just refinanced our mortgage. A notary came to our house one evening so we could sign all the documents. I got the impression they tried to be as convenient as possible so they could get our business.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:38 AM
 
Location: lumberton, texas
652 posts, read 2,411,010 times
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I have never heard of this! I think its insane and would never do it. I used to live in VA and now in TX. Only bought 2 homes, but noone has ever mentioned that to me b4.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
331 posts, read 622,981 times
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Each state has a different method for closing - some states require attorney's and some require title reps...I am in Georgia. I can't speak for where you are at - but the attorney's make enough money without any tipping...interesting practice - might be one of those things that "have always been done that way" - society gets in a lot of trouble with that line of thinking...
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
1,860 posts, read 4,337,158 times
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Unless they are getting you one heck of a mortgage rates or very low closing costs, don't see why anyone would even consider tipping them being how much they are paid already in the purchase.

As a side-bar, the whole 'tipping' thing in my opinion has gone way overboard in this country. I'm all for leaving generous tips for those working in the service industry who provide great service and are for all intensive purposes 'commission' based wage earners i.e. waiters, bell-boys, etc., but since when are we supposed to leave tips for 'professionals' or post office workers who have better paying salaries than the average person in America or a slew of others that I've read in so-called 'etiquette' magazines that we should be tipping. Living in Ohio before, I did give our mailman a gift card one year b/c he was the rare one who still walks their route and got our mail to us in the crazy OH winter weather every day, but it's getting ridiculous. What's next, leave a tip for the nurse and the nurse's aide when we are in the hospital?
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:51 AM
 
Location: New York, Westchester
506 posts, read 2,002,483 times
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Default this only happens in the tri state area

i think it is total bull ****................................ JUST SAY NO....
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:56 AM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 6,418,148 times
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I'm in Mass. The title person was not at our closing. The sellers weren't even at our closing. We went to our lawyer's, they went to theirs, all done.
No tips for everyone.

Why tip? don't they get paid?
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:04 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 34,966,446 times
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I am SO glad the rest of you answered. I was starting to worry that I had inadvertently slighted someone.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:32 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,897,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornandraised atl View Post
Each state has a different method for closing - some states require attorney's and some require title reps...I am in Georgia. I can't speak for where you are at - but the attorney's make enough money without any tipping...interesting practice - might be one of those things that 'have always been done that way' - society gets in a lot of trouble with that line of thinking...
Wow, some really interesting responses so far: Keep them coming!

Yes, to tip the title rep is one of those things that has been done ever since the Year of the Flood, it seems. I bought my first house in the early 1970s and it was standard practice even back then, although at that time the tip was only about $25 if I recall correctly.

Just FYI, here in downstate NY (NYC/NYC metro/Long Island) the standard method for closing is that the seller and buyer always have their own attorney, and the buyer also must purchase title insurance for themselves (in the amount of the mortgage) and also for the bank (in the amount of the mortgage). Usually the buyer's attorney just uses whatever title company he or she has a relationship with, but the buyer does have the right to choose their own title company if they wish to (most buyers aren't even aware of that right, though!).

Another FYI: Attorneys here charge anywhere from $1000 to $1200 for a simple uncomplicated closing. That doesn't include the title search and policies of course. Someone in my family is buying a house for $625K (btw that is not too much above the median home price in our area) and called around to get quotes on the title insuranc policies. They all came in between $5900 and $6300. That does also include the mortgage recording tax that buyers are required to pay; in his case that tax comes to around $4000 for a 250K mortgage.

So the tip to the title person is on top of the (net) $2000-plus that the pair of title policies themselves end up costing. Usual procedure is that the title company collects for and remits the mortgage recording tax. The buyer's attorney him/herself does not get tipped; just whatever their legal fee is.

Last edited by totallyfrazzled; 01-28-2009 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:40 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,897,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
I'm in Mass. The title person was not at our closing. The sellers weren't even at our closing. We went to our lawyer's, they went to theirs, all done.
That sounds like the procedure we have here in NY for the Contract phase. But at the actual closing, everyone needs to be at the same table: Buyers, sellers (unless they've given someone else Power of Attorney because they can't be there), realtor for seller, realtor for buyer, mortgage loan rep, title company rep, seller's lawyer, and buyer's lawyer. So even if there's just one seller and just one buyer you're talking about getting a minimum of 8 people to the same place at the same time.

NYS law also says that the sellers and the buyers have to bring an original (no photocopies, no faxes) photo ID to prove identity to the title company rep.
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