Important COVID-19 Safety Update: Notarize your legal documents safely online without leaving your home. Notarize in Real Time LLC has received certification to perform online notary sessions. All you need is a computer with a webcam and microphone. Click HERE for details.


The Growing Need for Electronic Signatures and Remote Online Notarization in Real Estate

Q: I’m in the process of closing on the sale of a home. I was able to do the document review electronically, but I had to leave our self-quarantined status to have the many required signatures in the closing package notarized. Have you seen changes in industry practices that address this issue?

A: The situation with the coronavirus pandemic has brought substantial disruption to the real estate industry. One change to help borrowers is that all Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed loans are now eligible for forbearance (contact your lender for details). On the other hand, the number of people paying rent in March slipped 12 percent, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Let’s begin with a discussion of the paper documents you sign as a seller. By far, the most important document a seller signs is the deed that transfers title to the property from the current owner to the buyer.

You need some form of a written document to transfer your ownership of the home to a buyer. The document may be called by one of many names, including warranty deed, special warranty deed, quitclaim deed, limited warranty deed and trustee’s deed. Historically, the seller had to physically sign the document and a notary had to witness the seller sign it. The seller’s and the notary’s signatures would be “wet” signatures, the old-fashioned way of signing a document.

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