Question: Is it true that, at the closing of an apartment purchase, I must tip the title representative?
Answer: A title closer is typically retained on an independent contractor basis to represent the title insurance company. Hired on a per contract basis, or a per project basis, title closers are service providers and their remuneration is structured accordingly.
While it is not required by law, it is customary to tip the tile closer at the end of the closing. This is not practiced in other states, but in New York it has become a signature of business with finesse, and a warm professional attitude. This gesture is intended to convey gratitude and appreciation to the title closer.
The exact amount varies, and you may ask your broker, or friend and family who have recently made purchases of apartments, for current local practice and custom.
Lior Aldad, of Aldad & Associates (tel. 212.268.6999, www.ClosingProfessionals.com) observes that in most of his closings title closers “continuously oversee the closing transaction in order to verify that the parties have not overlooked anything. In return for these extra efforts, the Purchaser is normally expected to express his gratitude by giving the title closer a small gift, usually in the form of a tip.”