The world has gone digital, but it sometimes seems the real estate business is still plodding along with reams of paperwork and in-person contract signings.
On one hand, that makes sense. You’re talking about deals that involve money, property and major life upheavals. These are serious issues that require serious documentation.
Changes are on the way. Digital closings are the future of the real estate business. As an agent, you may want to embrace this trend.
Close More Real Estate Deals With Online Notarization
Would you like to get through settlements and closings more quickly? Most real estate agents would, and we know your customers would agree. They take up a lot of time, and that’s largely because the documentation is critical.
Every settlement must produce signatures that are valid, notarized and legal. The paperwork involves property transfers and hundreds of thousands of dollars. The validity of the paperwork is crucial.
What if you could get through your closings quickly, easily and from the comfort of your own home? What if you could do this and know the signatures were legally valid? With online remote notarization, you can perform e-closings that are just this fast and simple.
What Is Remote Online Notarization?
There are some confusing terms that get tossed around as if they’re interchangeable. You might wonder, is e-notarization the same as remote notarization? What is a digital closing and is it the same as an e-closing?
Here are some definitions to help sort it out.
In an e-notarization, the signers and the notary must be present in the same room. The notary verifies the signer’s identity and verifies the validity of the signatures.
In a remote online notarization, the signers and notary don’t have to be present in the same room, city or even country. The signers and notary can conduct the entire business digitally, store the signed documents and make them instantly available to anyone in digital form.
During a remote online notarization, the signers submit electronic signatures. The notary performs a detailed credential analysis and identity verification before proceeding with the notarization. The notary then sends copies of the signed documents, the notary’s digital seal and the notary’s digital certificate to all parties. It takes only a few minutes.
What Do All These Terms Mean?
Here are some other terms you should get to know.
E-notary seal: The notary’s official seal in digital form.
Notary digital certificate: A digital version of the notary’s official certificate.
E-signature: An electronic signature that usually has the same legal validity as an in-person signature.
E-closing: A real estate closing conducted entirely online.
What Does the Law Say About Remote Online Notarization?
Many states have acted quickly to adopt these digital changes. Virginia was the first to pass a law stating that documents notarized by a remote notary had the same legal validity as those notarized by a traditional notary.
States That Allow Digital Closings
More than 30 states allow online notarization of real estate closings.
The following states allow remote online notarization and consider these documents as valid as those signed by an in-person notary:
Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Vermont.
Montana allows remote online notarization for Montana residents only. Some states have passed laws they haven’t yet enacted, and others have passed temporary rulings or rulings with restrictions.
What does this mean for you?
Avoid potential legal problems. Besides state regulations, check with your title insurance underwriter and your settlement agent to be sure they accept online notarization. You should only feel comfortable doing an online closing when you’ve covered these legal requirements.
As a real estate agent, you know how time-consuming closings can be. Realtors and customers both dread the process. It can take several hours and require signing mountains of paperwork. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time pursuing other leads, building up your business and getting more listings?
Wouldn’t you rather get your commission checks a lot faster?
Complete Your Closings Online
Digital closings or e-closings turn the closing process into something you don’t have to dread. You don’t have to carve out a full day for closing. Customers, agents and settlement agents don’t have to give up a full day sitting in an office with stacks of paperwork.
Now, customers can complete the paperwork from the comfort of their own homes. Real estate agents and settlement agents can meet digitally to ensure all the documentation is complete. When the settlement is over, remote online notaries can certify the signatures.
Is Remote Online Notarization Safe?
Remote online notarization is just as secure as in-person signatures. This is true only of the above states that have passed comprehensive laws that include rigorous safety standards. In Texas, for instance, online notaries must first hold a state-issued notary seal and apply for state approval before they can become online notaries. They must use a state-approved provider of identity verification and credential analysis.
In fact, the standards for validation are much higher than they are for traditional, in-person notarization. Online notaries must use database-driven, knowledge-based authentication and analysis of all forms of identification. Online notary platforms like OneNotary use stringent security measures.
Online notaries must keep copies of all the documents they notarize for the time required by law. They must record every notarization session and keep a digital notary journal.
How to Find a Notary Public Online
You’re sold. You know a remote online notary will transform your business. You want to get through your deals with less stress and more efficiency. Where do you find a remote online notary?
The simplest and most secure way is through an online notarization agency like OneNotary. The agency has already done background checks and full vetting of the notaries on their roster. These are notaries with valid certificates who are in good standing in their home states.
How Much Does a Digital Closing Cost?
The cost of a remote online notarization is about the same as the cost for an in-person notary. In most cases, you will pay from $50 to $150 for a typical closing.
Digital Closings Will Transform Your Business
Remote online notaries can make time-consuming closings a thing of the past. Contact an OneNotary to get started today. Remote online closings and notarizations are the future of your business, and the future is here.