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Paying real estate agent rental deposit from UK A/C

Paying real estate agent rental deposit from UK A/C

Old Oct 5th 2014, 9:04 pm
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Default Paying real estate agent rental deposit from UK A/C

We'll be visiting New York for a week at the end of October to hopefully find somewhere to live. We'll be renting for at least a year.
We probably won't have our US bank account open by then and I'm well aware that as soon as we find a place we'll need to put down a deposit and first months rent (at least).
So the question is, what's the best way to make the USD payment from our UK bank account (HSBC Premier account or we could use a Barclays account) to the real estate agent?
What's the fastest method of getting the money to them and how do we make sure they don't incur fees?
I've looked at Transferwise which seem pretty good as you can use your debit card to make payments which means no real setup or account activation required. Costs seem reasonable too. Thoughts? Experience?
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Old Oct 5th 2014, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Paying real estate agent rental deposit from UK A/C

Real estate agents like checks (cheques!) around here.
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Old Oct 5th 2014, 9:32 pm
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Default Re: Paying real estate agent rental deposit from UK A/C

We should be able to get any deposit and first months rent from my wife's new firm by check but it will slow things up a bit while they get it done. Was hoping to find a faster (and easier) way.
Can't believe the US are still so reliant on cheques. Can't honestly remember the last time I wrote a cheque in the UK, or even signed for anything. Chip and PIN all the way!
Gonna have to get used to doing things the American way.
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Old Oct 5th 2014, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: Paying real estate agent rental deposit from UK A/C

If you're using a realtor, probably bang it on the credit card.

Other wise, yeah, cheque.

Though I'd be surprised if your down payment on the signing is only first months and a rents deposit. It's usually fairly substantial, so a bank cheque might be better than a regular personal cheque.
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Old Oct 5th 2014, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Paying real estate agent rental deposit from UK A/C

paying a realtor with a CC, if they'll accept that, is like a cash advance, with all the fees that means. Here's what we did:

1) payed 500$ cash (obtained from ATM) to get the property off the market and the process moving. The goal here was to have some financial investment that we'd lose if we decided to change our minds. (If the landlord changed their minds, we'd get this back).

2) initiated a bank xfer from our UK account to the realtor for the remainder of the deposit. This took a few days to complete

3) initiated another bank xfer prior to move in date, several months later, to pay initial month's rent. Although we had a US bank account by that time, it wasn't sufficiently wired up to do an electronic xfer at that point. We could have sent a check drawn on it, but mailing that from the UK would have taken too long.

As we've learnt, banking in the US is very primitive compared to the EU (local bank expressed extreme surprise when we related that bank2bank transfers happen effectively instantaneously there).

Hope that helps.
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Old Oct 5th 2014, 11:22 pm
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Default Re: Paying real estate agent rental deposit from UK A/C

Thanks all. Useful info.
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 12:19 am
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Default Re: Paying real estate agent rental deposit from UK A/C

The first thing our relocation agency did was get an account set up for us. They gave us debit cards and some cheques straight away. Time taken was 30 minutes to do this. We brought a stack of cash with us to pay into the account immediately so that we would be able to get a banker's draft to pay the deposit and rent.
Then we used worldfirst to transfer money into that account from our eu bank and that arrived 2 days later.

If you're going to use an exchange company then make sure you get the account set up well before you need it since there are security measures and they take a bit of time (? a week).
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