Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment?

Posted by: music4me2

Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 06:27 PM

Hello,

I sold my Steinway and I received a deposit check. The movers are scheduled for next week. Do I ask the buyer for a cashiers check for the balance ($30K) on that day, or a personal check before? What is standard? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
Posted by: curry

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 06:32 PM

Ask for a certified bank check.
Posted by: PoStTeNeBrAsLuX

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 06:36 PM

music4me2,

Personally I'd do a written contract, signed by both parties (together with copies of ID and proof of address, etc.), stating that funds should be wired to your account and confirmed as irrevocable before the instrument leaves your possession.

- Michael B.
Posted by: FogVilleLad

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 06:37 PM

music,

Please don't let that instrument out of your sight until the check clears.
Posted by: ftp

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 06:48 PM

music4me2,

Google "Bill of Sale" on the internet and find an appropriate legal document for the buyer to sign which relieves you of all legal obligations and also further acknowledges that the buyer owes and has paid you the cost of the piano.

This is in addition to the advice above.
Posted by: Cy Shuster, RPT

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 06:55 PM

Even a cashier's check might not actually clear for days. Check with your bank.

--Cy--
Posted by: kokomo61

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 07:24 PM

There are so many cashiers' check scams going today, I would ask them to accompany you to the bank for its deposit, and then, not let the piano out of your possession until they verify its authenticity....way too many people have been burned to take any chances.
Posted by: LeadFingers

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 07:37 PM

Google "piano scams"
One of the latest scams involves fraudulent cashiers checks.
The bank processes the phony cashiers check, posts the amount to your account,then some time later (maybe even up to 6 months)when they realize it's phony they hold you liable for the whole amount!!!

I would follow "Post's" advise on the contract,
and set up a new account to have the funds transferred to, before the movers got in the door.
Upon receipt of funds, transfer it to my account
(or stuff it under the mattress) and close the new account.

Much trouble...sure!
Are these people reliable...More than likely!
BUT if you take no precautions and get burned...Need I say more.

LeadFingers
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 07:43 PM

Thanks for the quick replies. I called the bank and they told me 1) wire transfer or 2) cashier's check with contact information so that the bank can quickly verify the funds.

I emailed the buyer and told her that we needed to have the funds clear before the piano was moved. I gave her the two options above. If she chooses 2) then I will go to the bank with the check before the movers come & have the funds verified.

Do I need a "new" account to put the money into, or will my current one be okay? Is there a risk in giving out a routing number and account number? They are printed on my checks, so anyone I've paid has access to them.
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 07:44 PM

Thanks for all of your help!

Farewell piano!
Posted by: ChatNoir

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 09:04 PM

Oooooh, it looks lovely.
Posted by: Stevester

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 09:21 PM

I would ask my lawyer.
Posted by: jollyroger

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 09:22 PM

music4me2,
Speak to your banker. It's quite possible they can provide you with an internal "omnibus" account where you can have the money wired to. Then, they'll simply move the money to your account so you'll be able to maintain the level of discretion you desire with the person buying your piano. BTW, what model Steinway is that? Possibly an "S" or an "M"?

Good luck.
Regards,
Roger
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 09:36 PM

Hopefully, everything is on the up and up.
But...
You should check this out, just in case.
http://www.pianoworld.com/scams.html
Posted by: Christopher P. Smith

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 10:22 PM

VERY nice!
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/24/06 11:06 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by jollyroger:
BTW, what model Steinway is that? Possibly an "S" or an "M"?[/b]
M.

I think I will play a bit before the movers come on Tuesday...
Posted by: Stevester

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 07:12 AM

What are you replacing it with?
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 11:36 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Stevester:
What are you replacing it with? [/b]
Hi, it's undecided still. I'm doing some research & will find a good quality acoustic upright sometime soon, I hope.

I haven't heard back from the buyer about the final payment since I asked for a wire transfer or cashiers check...I suppose it would be an exciting twist of fate if the deal fell through. Then I would get to keep it! :-)
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 11:55 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by music4me2:
!
I haven't heard back from the buyer about the final payment since I asked for a wire transfer or cashiers check...I suppose it would be an exciting twist of fate if the deal fell through. Then I would get to keep it! :-) [/b]
If you "would get to keep it :-)", which the word "exciting" and the smiley face suggest is a desirable option, then why are you selling it in the first place?

Regards,
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 01:11 PM

Good question! Well, we are in need of the cash to pay off some growing debt due to the costs of therapies for our special needs children (high functioning autism with anxiety disorder and motor delays). I'd love a chance to keep it, though, and I would not be upset if the deal miraculously fell through right now :-). I was offered a reasonable price and decided to take it with much regret & sadness.
Posted by: jollyroger

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 01:18 PM

Hi music4me2,
You are indeed quite an individual to share such personal information with us. I believe I speak for all in saying that YOU ARE A VERY SPECIAL PERSON and you have our very best wishes, regardless if you sell the piano or not.
Best and warmest regards,
Roger
Posted by: neciebuggs

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 01:22 PM

That is so sad. I applaud you for your dedication to your children. I have 2 ADHD and LD kids, I have a great upright. I hope I never have to make the choice to sell my piano. It would kill me. Hugs and well wishes to you and yours.
Posted by: ftp

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 01:47 PM

music4me2,

Your spirit is a wonderful reminder to all of us to embrace with vigor and positive outlook whatever life presents to us.

Your character clearly can not be broken, the character of the buyer is the only thing in question.
Posted by: ChickGrand

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 04:45 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by jollyroger:
music4me2,
Speak to your banker. It's quite possible they can provide you with an internal "omnibus" account where you can have the money wired to. Then, they'll simply move the money to your account so you'll be able to maintain the level of discretion you desire with the person buying your piano...[/b]
This is what the banks involved did when I bought my last house for cash with wire transfer. We used just such omnibus accounts at both ends so neither the seller's nor my account numbers appeared to anyone outside our respective banks for a wire transfer. There was no fee for the service either, and more importantly, no question at either end about the funds being legit.

(When I bought the last piano, I didn't want any such questions about certified checks or what not and wanted possession immediately, so I took stacks of the green stuff shoved in every pocket.)
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 07:03 PM

Stacks of the green stuff...wow!

The buyer contacted me and told me that they were leaning toward either a personal check that clears before the moving company shows up, or a cashiers check that I can verify on the moving day. Either way, it sounds fine to me & so I guess the piano is nearly sold unless they change their mind, which I doubt.

Thank you for all of your advice! I'll let you know how it all turns out and what my replacement piano will be!
Posted by: jollyroger

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 07:21 PM

music4me2,
I don't want to appear pushy, but Frank's earlier email containing the link about frauds, specifically those entailing certified checks should give you great pause.

Since the money is for such an important purpose (especially so), my suggestion would be to err on the side of caution. Speak to your bank and explain the situation. They can arrange for a wire transfer without you revealing any of your personal account information to the buyer. Your bank can make the arrangements with the buyer's bank to effect the wire transfer. As an officer for one of the largest investment banks in the country, I can fully attest that any check (certified or otherwise) may look good on the surface and actually appear to clear; only to find out weeks (even months) later that it was either fraudulent or lacking in sufficient funds to cover it.

I won't pester you any more about this. But I would be woefully remiss if I did not advise you of the risks involved here, especially with something as valuable as a Steinway M. And especially so with regards to what the funds will be used for.

I wish you all the best and I sincerely hope everything works out well for you and your family. You are a VERY SPECIAL PERSON!

Warmest regards,
Roger
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 07:32 PM

Roger,

Thank you and everyone at PW for your concern. It is well appreciated and needed. Believe me, I am trying to be cautious. But let's say I receive a personal check in the mail, deposit it in my bank account, and wait for it to clear. If it clears, and then the movers show up, isn't that enough? Obviously I would not let the movers take it if the money was not in my account. I would simply not let them come in and carry it away. Are you saying that even if my bank calls their bank and verifies the funds, and then the funds are officially available in my account, that something could still go very wrong and the funds reversed?

I read the links about fraud and this does not appear at this stage to be like any of those. But like I said, wouldn't it be a miraclous twist of fate to somehow get to keep my Steinway? With the piano in my home now and the deposit check cleared, I can't see a downside...yet.
Posted by: jollyroger

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/25/06 07:50 PM

"Are you saying that even if my bank calls their bank and verifies the funds, and then the funds are officially available in my account, that something could still go very wrong and the funds reversed?"

Yes, this is possible. The funds could be subsequently withdrawn during the clearing period. Scam artists will generally do this by wire to a third party bank where the money is then withdrawn before the "process" catches up with them. There are so many flavors of new check "kiting" schemes, fraudulent check scams etc., introduced on an almost daily basis, that they make my head spin every time I hear of a new one. If you arrange for your bank to have the seller's bank wire the funds, then they are not only "Fed Funds" (same day clearance) but because banks have verifiable routing numbers (found at the bottom of your check next to the account number), they are accoustomed to these types of inter-bank transactions. In fact, it's the mainstay for how banks operate and will give you the peace of mind you deserve. The worst that could happen is that your bank may charge you a wire transfer fee (generally about $25 dollars). If a problem did occur, then the buyer's bank would have to chase the person who bought your piano, NOT YOU. When banks wire funds, it's as good as hard cash. Banks CANNOT wire funds they don't have. This is regulated by the FED. The onus is on them.

This is also the way that importers/exporters work. Before a seller consigns any shipment, the buyer deposits the funds in a bank who then issues a "letter of credit" and segregates the funds. Once the buyer receives the merchandise, his/her bank releases the funds to the seller's respective account.

Call me cautious, but if it were me, this is the way I'd handle it. It's safe, easy and actually faster as the funds clear "same day".

And if the buyer had any problems with this, then that's all the reason you'll ever need to realize that they're not trustworty enough to do business with.

Hope this helps.

My very best,
Roger
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/28/06 06:29 PM

Just an update. The buyer & the technician hired by the buyer came to check out the Steinway today. He seemed very pleased, said it was "perfect, absolutely perfect."

The buyer gave me a cashier's check & the contact information at her bank. The movers aren't scheduled yet, but could be coming sometime later this week.

Ah, I knew my piano was wonderful :-).

I'm still sad, but finding a replacement will be fun, right?
Posted by: wolfindmist

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/28/06 06:55 PM

Music4me2;

I would take Jollyrodger's reccomendations re. using the wiretransfer. Better to be safe than sorry on something as big as this transaction is for your family. Please take a gander at Jollyrodger's post to you ....

You wrote:
"Are you saying that even if my bank calls their bank and verifies the funds, and then the funds are officially available in my account, that something could still go very wrong and the funds reversed?"

1st part of Jolly Rodger's reply:
Yes, this is possible. The funds could be subsequently withdrawn during the clearing period. Scam artists will generally do this by wire to a third party bank where the money is then withdrawn before the "process" catches up with them. There are so many flavors of new check "kiting" schemes, fraudulent check scams etc., introduced on an almost daily basis, that they make my head spin every time I hear of a new one. If you arrange for your bank to have the seller's bank wire the funds, then they are not only "Fed Funds" (same day clearance) but because banks have verifiable routing numbers (found at the bottom of your check next to the account number), they are accoustomed to these types of inter-bank transactions. In fact, it's the mainstay for how banks operate and will give you the peace of mind you deserve. The worst that could happen is that your bank may charge you a wire transfer fee (generally about $25 dollars). If a problem did occur, then the buyer's bank would have to chase the person who bought your piano, NOT YOU. When banks wire funds, it's as good as hard cash. Banks CANNOT wire funds they don't have. This is regulated by the FED. The onus is on them.

Jollyrodger's advice makes good sense....
given that there are som many people out there who make a living scamming people out of their precious possessions and money.
Wolf
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/28/06 07:44 PM

Thanks for your advice. Since I had talked with my bank and they gave me the two choices, I gave the buyer the two choices and they chose a cashier's check. I just took it to the bank and they are in the process of calling the issuing bank and verifying funds. My bank claims that I will have the funds available to me tomorrow. How long would it take for the funds to disappear? I still have the piano, so when would the bank realize that the funds were missing if they were gone? How many days? The movers might not come until Saturday...
Posted by: Derick II

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/28/06 07:47 PM

I don't know if this has already been suggested or not as I haven't read thru the entire thread, but you should really have the funds wired into your bank account. Funds can only be wired in, they cannot be wired out.

Derick
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 02/28/06 11:08 PM

I hope we haven't caused you needless worry, music4me2. The cashier's check in all likelihood will be okay. It's not like you had listed the piano on e-Bay where the scammers are constantly trolling for a victim.

I hope you will buy a replacement soon!
Posted by: MahlerAdagio

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 03/01/06 02:56 AM

All this worries wouldn't need to happen by you or the buyer if the check were produced at the bank with the seller watching.

In wanting to protect the seller, I would say that it's a risk for the buyer too to just leave a cashier's check to a stranger, without the goods on hand. Much Nigerian scams occurs this way.

When I bought my piano, I refused to forward a cashier's check inadvance, without having the piano in my possession, because I didn't want to be the victim of losing a great deal of money without anything showing for it.

So, I invited the seller to the bank and have the cashier's check cut right in front of his eyes. I then held the check until the piano is being loaded onto the truck.

This eliminated risks and worries on both sides, and both sides are happy that they are protected.
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 03/01/06 10:37 PM

Okay, so the *next* time I sell an expensive piano (yeah, like I'm ever going to do that again, too painful!), I'll insist on the funds to be wired. I don't know why the bank told me that a cashier's check was just as good. Lesson learned, don't listen to your banker. Lesson two, don't give the buyer any option BUT a wire transfer. Put that in your ad..."wire transfer only..."

Anyhow, it's done. Gone. Big hole in the room. It's been a really awful day. I don't know how long it will be before a replacement arrives...will it be the best digital I can afford, or the best uprgight I can afford, or a really cheap digital to tide us over. If I only had 100 shares of Google...
Posted by: sophial

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 03/01/06 10:55 PM

music4me2,

I'm sorry you had to sell your beautiful Steinway piano, although for a really important reason. It's easy to say, but things can be replaced, people can't, and neither can this precious time in your children's development. You did the right thing. I hope that you can soon bring a piano back into your home and someday have one even more beautiful than the one you just sold.

Sophia
Posted by: Card

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 03/01/06 11:21 PM

A big hole in the living room is better than a hole in your heart. You've touched ours.
Posted by: jonathan p

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 11/15/06 03:39 PM

I placed an ad on the site to sell my Petrof piano. What I should really do is simply sell aba routing and bank account numbers, because that is all I am getting requests for. It appears to me that this is more a gateway to identity theft. I supplied one buyer the numbers for an account I keep empty. That account has gotten polled repetively in only 24 hours. My advice to all is to accept payment only by western union, cash,paypal or certified bank check drawn on your own bank where you can take the check and have it verified. -- in Atlanta
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 11/15/06 04:09 PM

jonathan p :

You've undoubtedly not noticed that this post dates from February of this year. The piano and the money are long gone by now!
Posted by: music4me2

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 11/15/06 04:25 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by jonathan p:
I placed an ad on the site to sell my Petrof piano. What I should really do is simply sell aba routing and bank account numbers, because that is all I am getting requests for. It appears to me that this is more a gateway to identity theft. I supplied one buyer the numbers for an account I keep empty. That account has gotten polled repetively in only 24 hours. My advice to all is to accept payment only by western union, cash,paypal or certified bank check drawn on your own bank where you can take the check and have it verified. -- in Atlanta [/b]
Did you sell your Petrof \:\) ?

Yes, my piano is long gone, and the money put to good use. The cashier's check I received worked out fine, and the family who now owns my Steinway is loving it.
Posted by: apple*

Re: Sold my piano, how do I take the final payment? - 11/16/06 12:19 AM

tears and smiles for you.. may another wonderful piano come your way