You have made it through all the stress of the deal, inspections are done, and it’s time to close! What happens now? What does a title agency do to facilitate the closing? There are a few options available when it comes to closing on a real estate transaction.
Traditionally the buyer, seller, and real estate agents, if any, will schedule a time when they can all meet at a title insurance agency or attorney’s office to sign all the closing documents and finalize the sale. Sometimes it is difficult to find a time when all parties are available. Signers have had to take the day off work to finalize their real estate transactions. However, like many other areas real estate closing processes are progressing. This is no longer the only option when it comes to closings.
Another real estate closing option is a mail-away closing, where documents are signed at your convenience. With a mail-away closing, the buyer will wire funds to the remote title company or attorney escrow account prior to closing. Once completed the final closing documents are mailed to the parties to sign and notarize remotely. This can be done in a few different ways. For instance, using a traveling notary, taking your documents to your bank, or anywhere that offers a notary service. The parties then return the documents to their remote title company or attorney. Once received they will disburse the closing proceeds to the proper parties by wire transfer or check.
While a mail away real estate closing is convenient because the parties can sign when their schedules allow, electronic or online closings are another option. Typically these are not done by an actual online title company. They are done by one that has the ability to email documents to the individual parties to sign. Since 2018 Michigan has allowed for Remote Online Notary (RON) closings as well as Electronic or e-Notarization. Unfortunately, not all counties allow for an electronically signed Deed. These Deeds would then be mailed to the seller to have notarized in the same method as a mail-away closing and then returned. With either of these options, the parties can electronically sign their documents by clicking on a link in their email. They then follow the prompts without having to be in the physical presence of a notary. There are a number of reservations when it comes to remote or electronic real estate closings. Are they secure? Do they allow for more fraud? In truth, the RON closings are more secure with a number of security features including the session being recorded. Those sessions are then securely stored and cannot be altered. Notaries using the RON platform have many security and record-keeping standards and tools. These assist them with the detection of fraudulent IDs, detecting duress, and maintaining your privacy.
Real estate closing is done and now the keys need to make it to the new owner. Once the closing has been finalized the final issue would be how keys are then transferred. There are multiple options to achieve this. The Buyer could set a time to meet the Seller to give them the keys. The Buyers agent could deliver the keys to the Buyer. If there is a lockbox on the property, the new owner could get them that way. Picking keys up at the title insurance agency is also an option some of the time.