How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

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TomatoTomahto
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How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:57 am

Here's the situation. My son is trying to rent an apartment in NYC. He works during the week. This past weekend, he and his roommate liked an apartment, wanted it as did another pair, and the broker told them "first one back with a cashier's check gets it." Son lost the race.

For those who would give me grief for posting rather than having him do it: he's busy and I am not.

He asked if there isn't a form of Cashier's Check that is good up to a limit, e.g., "valid for amounts up to $5,000" with the payee not filled in. Afaik, no such product exists. Additionally, afaik, the payee has to be known at the time the check is cut. So, outside his neighborhood, on a weekend, the odds are against him in any such footrace to get a Cashier's Check.

So, what's the best way to hold an apartment (pending credit check and background checks)? Usually the amount is the first month's rent. They are looking at apartments around the $5,000 per month mark (I know, I know, it's NYC).

Cash is a bit dicey, even with getting a receipt. NYC brokers are better than scammers, but probably not by much. Additionally, NYC is much safer than it was "in my day," but walking around with that kind of cash is not recommended.

Credit cards are sometimes accepted by brokers, but there are heavy fees (3% plus some fixed amount). 3% minus 2% cash back card is okay, but not everyone accepts them.

Zelle, Venmo, etc., would work, but they usually have very low limits.

A Cashier's Check made out for some amount of money (say, $4,500) would work if the broker would accept a personal check for the balance, but it doesn't solve the fact that the payee is not always known in advance, and my impression is that a cashier's check that isn't used is a PITA to have funds returned to your account. Do "certified checks" require a payee when certified? Would most brokers accept those?

Thanks in advance for your input. This seems like a product which would be very useful for people in similar circumstances. I wonder why it isn't available, and if it is, why don't more people know about it?
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:37 am

Maybe I should retitle the thread “Can I afford this apartment?”

:D
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

earlyout
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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by earlyout » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:48 am

I wanted to pay someone $4500 in a hurry recently and used Zelle. Even though the limit on a Zelle payment at my bank (Wells Fargo) is $2500 I found that if I could send an "expedited" payment for $2100 and a "pay now" payment for $2400 within minutes of each other. Don't know if that will still work or not.

mchampse
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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by mchampse » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:58 am

I’m not certain if this is a typical practice of how to choose between multiple applicants. I’m a landlord as well, and whenever I’ve had multiple people interested I’ve usually asked each person to submit an application, and then chosen based on whom I felt most comfortable with.

That said, your son could see if his bank could facilitate wiring money via their app or over the phone. He could also see if postal money orders are a possibility.

Random Poster
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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by Random Poster » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:59 am

I'm showing my ignorance here, but isn't the payee the broker? If so, why can't several cashier's check be made out in advance in varying denominations?

Alternatively, why not deposit $X amount with the broker, and then have the broker draw from that deposited amount and have the broker provide the money to hold the apartment?

Or is your son not using the same broker to look at various apartments?

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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:14 pm

Random Poster wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:59 am
Or is your son not using the same broker to look at various apartments?
I gather that in NYC, apartment “brokers” are anything from brokers who have a formal affiliation with an apartment building to scammers who are just trying to get cash for “showing” apartments whose owners never heard of them.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:19 pm

earlyout wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:48 am
I wanted to pay someone $4500 in a hurry recently and used Zelle. Even though the limit on a Zelle payment at my bank (Wells Fargo) is $2500 I found that if I could send an "expedited" payment for $2100 and a "pay now" payment for $2400 within minutes of each other. Don't know if that will still work or not.
I’ll have to ask if his roommate has Zelle. They could split it, or I could front half of it. Anyone know if Zelle is as dependable as a Cashier’s Check? Can you reverse a Zelle payment? Would a broker accept Zelle?
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

themesrob
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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by themesrob » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:30 pm

If you want to win a race, bring cash, and get a receipt. I don't think walking around NYC with cash is any more or less advisable than it is anywhere else in the US -- it's one of the safest major cities in the world. He should use his judgment, of course, when evaluating a broker, and not just hand over cash to some guy he connects with on craiglist who isn't affiliated with an actual brokerage company. To the extent possible, he can also ask whether there is some % of the deposit that can be made in cash to hold the place, and then bring the remainder by cashier's check asap.

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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by junior » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:31 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:19 pm
earlyout wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:48 am
I wanted to pay someone $4500 in a hurry recently and used Zelle. Even though the limit on a Zelle payment at my bank (Wells Fargo) is $2500 I found that if I could send an "expedited" payment for $2100 and a "pay now" payment for $2400 within minutes of each other. Don't know if that will still work or not.
I’ll have to ask if his roommate has Zelle. They could split it, or I could front half of it. Anyone know if Zelle is as dependable as a Cashier’s Check? Can you reverse a Zelle payment? Would a broker accept Zelle?
There's no guarantee Zelle will send the money instantly. Some banks seem to hold the Zelle transfer a few days when you send it to a new payee for the first time. (This is my experience with Ally bank.)

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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:37 pm

junior wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:31 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:19 pm
earlyout wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:48 am
I wanted to pay someone $4500 in a hurry recently and used Zelle. Even though the limit on a Zelle payment at my bank (Wells Fargo) is $2500 I found that if I could send an "expedited" payment for $2100 and a "pay now" payment for $2400 within minutes of each other. Don't know if that will still work or not.
I’ll have to ask if his roommate has Zelle. They could split it, or I could front half of it. Anyone know if Zelle is as dependable as a Cashier’s Check? Can you reverse a Zelle payment? Would a broker accept Zelle?
There's no guarantee Zelle will send the money instantly. Some banks seem to hold the Zelle transfer a few days when you send it to a new payee for the first time. (This is my experience with Ally bank.)
Good point; iirc, you’re right.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Watty
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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by Watty » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:53 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:57 am
Additionally, NYC is much safer than it was "in my day," but walking around with that kind of cash is not recommended.
Not that it matters but "back in the day" you could have used travelers checks for something like this.

Even if you could still find them(which I doubt), they would be unlikely to take them.

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whodidntante
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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by whodidntante » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:17 am

A wire transfer typically takes an hour. At least for the dozen or so that I have done. It's not instant like a spy movie though. It can be done entirely online at some banks.

mhalley
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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by mhalley » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:14 am

Could you use 5 1k money orders? As for the race, could you have the roomate at the bank and the son look at the apt and send pictures, and if they like it then the person at the bank gets the cashiers check and races to the apt.

scottgekko
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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by scottgekko » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:56 am

+1 on the money orders. You can easily get 5, $1k money orders. Then the Payable To: can be filled out as needed with whichever broker. For this particular scenario, this would probably be the best bet.

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Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:25 am

Good idea. 5 $1000 money orders will cost $8.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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