“Without the trust of a good Realtor and title company, a remote closing can be a hassle.”
Good news! You, as a buyer, will usually not have to be present at closing. But before you plan your vacation, you may want to take a peek at the details. I have done several closings where a seller or a buyer is absent at the closing table. These are often referred to as remote closings or in some cases mail-away-closings.
Remote Closing – How it Works
Each state has different laws governing who needs to be at a home closing and what needs to be completed by the time of closing. Your title company is going to dictate what they find acceptable for closing. If you want to do a remote closing, I suggest you speak with your Realtor and title company to find out the details firsthand.
To facilitate a remote closing, you must have someone in town that you trust and that can help you out if unexpected issues arise. Often, a Realtor will step into this role. Let me give you an example.
Two months ago, you visited the wonderful city of Ephraim and made an offer on a home. The offer was accepted. The catch is, you live in another state. As you start completing your paperwork, you realize that you need someone to meet an appraiser at the property, greet and talk to your inspector, oh, and to make sure the property you are buying is in the same condition you saw it in when you decided to make an offer.
Aside from the inspection, you will have a ton of paperwork to go over and sign. Normally, all the final paperwork and mortgage documents will be signed at closing. But wait, you won’t be there…
Title Companies Can Help With Remote Closing
There are a few ways to complete all those documents remotely, depending on your title company’s requirements.
- You may be able to sign the paperwork through an online document service.
- You may be allowed to visit a branch near you to complete your paperwork, usually a day or two before the actual closing date.
- Your title company may offer courtesy remote closing, or courtesy signing, where an agent of the company comes to you to present the documents.
- You may be able to select a special power of attorney so someone can act in your stead.
- You may be able to receive your documents through express mail so you can sign and send them back. Normally this requires the documents to be signed with a notary.
As you can see, there are quite a few options available. The most important thing is to ask your title company about your options.
Pros of a Remote Closing
A remote closing offers you the ability to avoid costly travel expenses if you are moving from out of town. It also means you won’t have to uproot your schedule for a few hours of examining and reading documents far away from home or work. For those of you that are always busy, it can be highly efficient. Many times, your documents will arrive a few days before closing giving you ample time to read through all of the paperwork.
Cons of a Remote Closing
The cons of a remote closing often center around the flurry of paperwork and documents that need to be completed prior to the closing date. If you are remote, it may be harder for you to coordinate with all the parties involved.
Sometimes a remote closing can add additional costs to an already expensive transaction. On top of that, you will have to be able to rely on someone else for the final walk through. If they miss any potential issues, that could be more costly. Remote closings have also, at times, been know to delay funding.
You will receive very little explanation of the documents you are signing if you have to use a regular notary while signing. In fact, unless your title company sends out an agent, you will not have someone with you in person to answer questions. You may feel compelled to blow through signatures on documents you don’t fully understand.
Always, always read through your documents. Don’t be afraid to use your phone and ask questions if something doesn’t make sense or if something seems off.
Final Thoughts on Remote Closings
Although we live in a fast paced world, it is OK to take a step back and follow the regular home closing process if you feel overwhelmed. If it is your first home purchase, I would recommend attending the closing for the experience. They are designed to make sure all questions are answered and the transaction goes smoothly.
However, for some of you, a remote closing might be just what you need. If you have questions about doing a remote closing in Sanpete County and would like some more information, you can contact me directly.
I would love to hear about your experiences closing remotely on a home, or why you wouldn’t, in the comments.