This week, Washington State’s Governor Inslee signed an emergency proclamation allowing e-notarizations. Our Washington REALTORS® and other organizations worked to accelerate this order, which was already planned to be in place by October 1st of this year, but was moved up to now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the current Stay Home, Stay Safe mandate issued earlier this week.
E-Notarizations have been available for cash buyers, but now all parties to a transaction will be able to e-sign and have the notary stamp the documents electronically.
The signers will need to appear before the notary through a Skype-like technology and will still need to provide acceptable identification but this is a huge step to maintain social distancing yet still be able to close current transactions.
This emergency e-notarization is effective for 30 days. Washington REALTORS® will continue to work with the Governor’s Office, and if necessary, the Legislature, to ensure that e-notarization can continue.
As this is new for many escrow companies, some are still working out the details but others in our area are up to speed with this.
I’m happy to see the adaption and openness to find solutions from our REALTOR® community. Many buyers and sellers can put their real estate moves on hold for the next couple of weeks, but others cannot, so I’m very proud of the quick work of the Governor’s Office.
Real estate brokers across Washington State are not to conduct any in-person business for the next two weeks but this accelerated order is helping our clients who are under contract close on their homes.