Exercise extreme caution when dealing with wired funds in a real estate transaction. Wire fraud is very much alive and well, and I’ve been hearing unfortunate stories from my colleagues recounting big money losses due to fraud activity.
When you’re buying or selling a home, you’re dealing with an escrow company that holds transactional funds in a neutral account. Buyers wire deposits (typically 3% of a purchase price) into an escrow account, as well as the balance of their down payment a couple days before the escrow closes. And sellers provide wiring instructions to the title company so the latter can wire the sale proceeds. San Francisco prices being what they are, the sums of money are usually pretty big. Continue Reading