Subscribe to the Notarize Blog

Join over 50,000 others and subscribe to receive the latest updates, industry news and more.

Everything Title Agents Need to Know About Closing Online

At Notarize, we've long believed that the future of real estate is digital. Over the last year, we've seen that future come into focus as online closings have exploded in popularity given their simplicity, security, and convenience. 

We understand that when it comes to digitizing your business, it can be hard to know where to start – especially in a vertical as complicated as real estate. That's why we compiled this list of frequently asked questions to  address everything title agents need to know about closing online.

Table of Contents

An Overview of Notarize
   Fully Digital Closings
   Hybrid Closings
   Title Software Integrations
   How to Close In a State Without a RON Bill
What Title Agents Need to Close Online With Notarize
   A Notarize for Title Agents Account
   An Underwriter That Will Insure Online Closings
   A Lender On the Notarize Platform
   A County that Accepts eRecordings
  Signers with Proper ID and Technology
How to Be Successful On the Notarize Platform
   Learn the Platform Through Notarize Academy
   Complete Your First Online Closings

An Overview of Notarize

If you're new to Notarize, welcome! We currently provide two main closing types: Fully digital and hybrid. Here are the requirements for each.

Fully Digital Closings

Fully digital closings are just that: fully digital. Lenders prepare the documents digitally; title agents manage the documents digitally; signers complete the closing packet digitally; and the entire thing is eRecorded digitally.

You can complete fully digital closings if:

  • Your lender is onboarded with Notarize and has synced its eVault to its Notarize account;
  • Your underwriter is onboarded with Notarize and willing to insure the transaction; and
  • Your county recorder will eRecord the documents, unless you live in a papering-out state.

You may also close online if it's a cash or seller-side closing that does not require mortgage documents. We encourage cash and seller-side transactions as a launching pad for title agencies new to the platform.

Pricing information can be found here.

Hybrid Closings

A hybrid closing allows for most of the closing documents to be electronically signed by borrowers at their convenience, prior to the closing table. Documents that require notarization are then completed with a traditional, in-person notary.

In hybrid closings, lenders on the platform typically invite title agents to the closing through Notarize. Then, title agents use their own notaries or hire mobile notaries to complete the closings. You can find more information about Hybrid closings on our Support page.

Hybrid closings are available in all 50 states because the most important element of the home closing – the notarial act – is still done in person. This also means the documents can be submitted to any county recorder.

Pricing information can be found here.

Notarize Title Software Integrations

At this time, Notarize is integrated with the ResWare and SoftPro platform.

You can find the job aid for getting setup with ResWare here. To learn more about our integration with SoftPro, click here.

How to Close in a State Without a RON Bill

When states pass laws on remote online notarization, these laws allow notaries in those states to perform online notarizations themselves. In fact, we’ve helped homebuyers purchase the homes of their dreams in states that have yet to even propose a RON bill.

That’s because you only need two things for cash and seller-side closings to occur:

  1. An underwriter who will insure the transaction; and
  2. A county clerk that will accept the eRecordings.

These RON bills are important – and so is your support – but you don’t need to wait on lawmakers before you can move your business online.

Notarize has underwriting partners across the country that will insure a digital closing. Among our network, we have thousands of title agents who are actively close homes in communities across the country for homebuyers across the globe.

What Title Agents Need to Close Online With Notarize

A Notarize for Title Agents Account

First thing's first: Your business will need to set up a Notarize for Title Agents account, which starts with a conversation with our Sales team. Once you pick the plan that's best for your team, onboarding takes an average of 2-3 weeks.

This account will be your transaction hub, where you will receive packages from lenders, prepare documents for signers, and ultimately maintain closings as part of your record-keeping practices.

An Underwriter That Will Insure Online Closings

Notarize must have an existing relationship with an underwriter for that underwriter to insure transactions conducted on the Notarize platform.

Currently, we have working relationships with underwriters in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Those states include:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

The six states excluded from this list – Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and West Virginia – are attorney closing states.

It’s best to start a conversation early with your underwriter to ensure you can meet their expectations for online closings. Some underwriters have specific transaction requirements, such as using notaries from a specific location to complete the closing.

Please keep in mind that, currently, notaries on the Notarize platform are located in Florida, Nevada, Texas, and Virginia.

We also allow businesses in many active RON states to onboard their employee notaries to complete transactions – including digital closings. Visit this page to learn more and, if interested, connect with our Sales team

A Lender On the Notarize Platform

In order to do any closing on the Notarize platform that involves a loan and a lender, that lender will need to have their own Notarize account. Onboarding for lenders takes about 3-4 weeks.

Additionally, in order to complete fully digital closings, lenders must have an eVault that is tied to their Notarize account. That is how the electronic promissory note (eNote) is stored, managed, and shipped in an online closing.

A County that Accepts eRecordings

According to the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA), a little over half the recording jurisdictions in the United States accept eRecorded documents. However, more than 90% of Americans live in counties that accept eRecordings. Learn more about eRecording here.

If you or your customers are closing on a property in a county that only records paper documents, papering-out may be a viable option. Papering-out allows you to complete all the closing documents electronically before printing out the electronic record and submitting it as a certified paper printout. You can find more about the papering-out process here.

Signers with Proper ID and Technology

Notarize can help signers anywhere in the world. However, every fully online closing requires that the signer has a government-issued ID, a recent U.S. address, and a U.S. Social Security Number. This information is how the Notarize platform verifies a signer's identity. There are no exceptions at this time.

We use (but do not collect) the signer's SSN in order to populate identity challenge questions that help ensure a signer is who they claim to be. 

Your signer will also need a valid and unexpired ID that bears a photographic image of the individual's face and signature: You can find a list of ID forms acceptable for online notarization here.

When it comes to technology, your signer will need the following in order to close online:

  • A valid email address.
  • A device with audio and video capabilities. This can be:
    • A computer Mac or Windows computer with a webcam,
    • An Apple mobile device, such as iPhone or iPad, or
    • An Android mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone.
  • A supported browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari on the web, or the Notarize app on their mobile device.
  • A strong internet connection.

How to Be Successful on the Notarize Platform

Learn the Platform Through Notarize Academy

Notarize Academy is a suite of digital, on-demand courses that helps any real estate professional understand how they can use technology to deliver a better home buying experience to their clients. The best part is, the courses are 100% free.

Our courses include training video modules that can be completed in about 40 minutes. Each course includes downloadable scripts, guides and links for optional further reading. The courses are designed for title agents, escrow officers, and closing agents who are new to online closings.

Here’s what you can expect to learn in Academy courses:

  • How to complete online closings
  • Everything you need to know about remote online notarization
  • How technology can be used to curb real estate fraud
  • How to talk about online closings with your signers

Complete Your First Online Closings

Once you’re ready to close, it’s important that your partners and signers alike understand our notary wait times and turnaround time for uploading documents and sending them to a signer.

Our notary operations team is busiest during traditional business hours. The great thing about Notarize is we’re online 24x5 during the work week, and from 8am - 7pm EST/CST on Saturdays, to complete real estate closings. Our closings are typically handled within 10 minutes of selecting “Connect with a Notary.”

If you use our "Bring Your Own Notary" solution, you can schedule and complete closings whenever is convenient for you or your signers!

If you are tagging your documents and using our ResWare integration, we ask that you leverage white text tagging to prepare the closing documents, with additional support as needed from our team. Click here for a white text tagging implementation guide.

You have notarization questions, we have notarization answers. While we at Notarize pride ourselves on providing helpful resources (like this blog!) to demystify notarization, we’re not lawyers and don’t give legal advice. Pro tip: always check with your own attorneys, advisors, or document recipients if you have further questions about notarization or digitally notarized docs.

Everything Title Agents Need to Know About Remote Online Notarization

Since completing the first online closing in 2017, Notarize has helped thousands of title agents use remote online notarization (RON) to power a home-buying experience built for the 21st century.

With unparalleled convenience, ease of use, and cost, signers and title companies alike have said that online closings are the future to a world where your phone or computer is the keys to your new home.

Here's how you can bring remote online notarization to your title company, and why it’ll unlock the customer experience you need to take your business to the next level.

Read more

Get it Notarized!

On your computer or iPhone.

It’s free to sign up.

Available on the App Store Let's Get Started

Notarize for Business

Collect notarizations from your clients.

Learn More