It’s that time of year where getting business done is a little bit tricky — from people traveling for the holidays to wintery weather, to health concerns regarding the newest wave of Covid – but the show must go on. For loan officers and agents, that means offering your borrowers and buyers the opportunity to complete their transactions virtually.
Since 2020, e-closings have become more and more prevalent. And by utilizing technology for each step of the process — eNotes, eSigning, document preview, and video conferencing — it’s an efficient and secure way to get business done. Another important facet of eClosings is notarizations. While notarization has traditionally been a transaction completed in person, online notarization has become widely-used across the real estate industry. In fact, Notarize’s platform saw online notarizations tied to real estate transactions grow by more than 215% in 2021.
Here are some reasons why online notarization for real estate transactions is on the rise, and why it is an essential part of a fully-digital close.
In 2011, with the passage of House Bill 2318/Senate Bill 827, Virginia became the first state to authorize its notaries to notarize documents remotely via live audio-video technology. Since then, 37 additional states have passed laws authorizing their notaries to perform online notarizations. These online notarizations are accepted across the country due to a long-standing body of laws in each state that specifically provides for recognition and acceptance of out-of-state notarizations.
This means that as long as the online notary is based in a state that has legalized online notarization, they can legally notarize a document.
Notarize’s digital platform connects users via video conferencing with notaries who can legally notarize documents online, so your clients never have to worry about the legality of the process.
While online notarization is legal, you should always double check that the parties you are working with will accept a digitally-notarized document.
Real estate transactions are often high-pressure and stressful, especially for buyers. By utilizing a fully-digital closing process, you eliminate the need for your clients to run around to banks or to UPS to get a document notarized. By using Notarize’s platform for online notarization, your customers can connect with a licensed notary — anytime and anywhere.
Not only is this more convenient for your customers, but it allows them to complete their real estate transaction while being completely contactless, which is a huge perk during these uncertain times.
At first glance, you might think that completing closing documents in person and on paper is the best way to ensure your client’s transaction is secure. However, paper can easily be spilled on, misplaced, accidentally thrown out, or even fall into the wrong hands. Keeping important documents on a digital platform actually enables better security (think of the hoops you have to go through just to sign into your work email these days).
Mitigate security and fraud risks before a closing even begins by using a trusted, digital platform like Notarize, which utilizes multi-factor authentication and encryption to ensure sensitive information is secure. Notarize’s digital platform is also built to be compliant no matter which state the buyer is in, so you and your clients can feel at ease knowing that the transaction is safe and secure.
Digital closings are becoming the norm, and it’s important for loan officers and agents to have processes in place to help their clients execute deals virtually. From eSigning to online notarization, these offerings will improve the experience for your customers who can’t take the time (or the health risk) during this busy season to complete those processes in person.