Explore the world of remote closing with our comprehensive guide. Learn about the different types of closings and how digital transformation is affecting real estate transactions nationwide.
In today's digital age, many facets of our lives have been transformed by technology – and the real estate industry is no exception. Remote closing options have made closing a home sale electronically a viable option for many homebuyers and sellers.
Most of the home closing process can be done electronically. Remote closing options can make the home-buying process much more streamlined and convenient. Instead of scheduling a meeting with all stakeholders, documents can be sent electronically and signed on the go or from the comfort of one’s own home, adding flexibility for frequent travelers or those out of state. The entire process is completed online - from filling out the paperwork to signing the final closing documents. However, some states have restrictions on what closing tasks can be completed remotely.
One significant advantage of remote closing is that it provides more flexibility and can be done at any time. This can be especially helpful for buyers and sellers who are juggling different time zones or have busy schedules. Additionally, remote closing eliminates the need to physically gather all parties together in one place, saving time and money.
The requirements for closing on a home can vary based on the specific details of the transaction, and the location where the transaction takes place.
While every transaction has its nuances, there are three common closing scenarios. The first is a traditional closing, where all parties involved, including the buyer, seller, and escrow officer, gather in person at an escrow office to complete the necessary documents.
The second method involves remote online notarization (RON), where closing is carried out virtually via a video call and a notary digitally authenticates the paperwork. Because remote closing laws vary across different states, closing completely online may not always be feasible.
While remote closing is permissible in numerous states, the laws can be more intricate in certain jurisdictions. If your state's policy on digital closings does not accommodate remote online notarization, you can likely still adopt a hybrid approach to the home closing process.
In this hybrid-style approach, buyers and sellers sign most of the paperwork digitally using the Endpoint app. Then on closing day, Endpoint will coordinate to find a mobile notary to notarize the final pieces of closing paperwork. Buyers and sellers have the flexibility to choose the time and location that suits their needs. The notary will then travel to the selected location, such as a residence or workplace.
While this method isn't fully remote, it is often faster and more streamlined than a traditional closing because individuals can complete certain payments and sign specific documents prior to their scheduled closing date. They also avoid the time and costs associated with traveling to an escrow office, since a mobile notary can come directly to their location of choice.
Digital earnest money deposits are another aspect of the real estate transaction that has been revolutionized by technology. This particular step, with its short timeline, often adds stress to the closing process for buyers.
In traditional transactions, the buyer provides a physical check or bank wire, as a show of good faith while finalizing the sale details. Historically, an earnest money deposit required the buyer in a transaction to go into a bank to retrieve a cashier’s check and drop it off at the title company.
However, with the Endpoint app, buyers can now transfer their earnest money deposit electronically, eliminating the need for physical checks or in-person bank visits. The Endpoint app also supports mobile check deposits and gives individuals the option to send a standard check or cashier's check using overnight mail if desired.
If customers choose to pay by wire transfer, Endpoint will securely share wiring instructions within the Endpoint app in an effort to protect against wire fraud. From there, customers can set up a wire transfer directly with their bank.
Digital earnest money deposits contribute to the overall efficiency and convenience of the digital closing process, further streamlining real estate transactions in the digital age.
Real estate closings have been revolutionized by technology, offering unparalleled convenience and efficiency. Remote closings offer a speedier and more convenient way to close on a home.
Your escrow officer can help navigate state-specific regulations and provide a tailored recommendation for the closing option that best suits your needs. Before deciding if this method suits you, take the time to see if remote online notarization is legal in your state. If not, your real estate professional may recommend a hybrid approach.
However you choose to close, Endpoint is here to help! Whether you prefer a fully remote closing or a hybrid approach, our technology and team make home closing easy for all.
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