All about: Remote Closing

Home closing for sellers is a breeze since all you have to do is pre-sign the paperwork and the proceeds of the sale will just be wired to a bank account. And as for buyers, you’ve had to take time off work, schedule a babysitter, and fight for parking near a title company downtown, just for you to sign a pile of papers and close on your new home – or maybe just forget about it if you’re from out of state.


But now, everybody has a more convenient option: the remote closing. You can close on your new home anywhere you want – at your workplace, your favorite coffee shop, your hotel lobby (for travelers), or even at your parents’ kitchen table.

Before, some options for remote closings depended on where you live. Most refinance transactions are already closed remotely, but purchase closings are relatively new.

“So often, when I arrive to do a remote signing, it’s the first time a borrower has heard of this type of convenience being available,” says Patricia A. Hoffman, a notary with Notary a la Carte in Holly Springs, NC. “I feel like I’m part of an underground economy.”


There’s a modern technology platform that simplifies out-of-office mortgage loan closings called Snapdocs. CEO Aaron King says his company has seen significant growth in loans closed using its suite of online tools. The mortgage loan volume more than tripled in 2015 – all done through remote closings. And it’s also for an increase of 214% year over year.

“We’re currently facilitating 25,000 remote mortgage closings per month and seeing 20% growth every month,” King says.


How it works?

When the closing is scheduled, the requester of the remote closing, which is usually your Realtor® or an attorney, lets the title company know where the buyer wants to close.

“It does not affect the closing cost in anyway on a purchase transaction, but on a refinance transaction there may be an extra cost,” says Ismet Ismaili, closing manager at Proper Title in Northbrook, IL.

According to King, “Sometimes the title company will learn that the closing must take place remotely the day of, in which case they can usually scramble to make it happen.”


You could get a better rate and terms.

This could mean more than added convenience because they also increase competition among lenders, which is a win for home buyers, King says.

“No longer are consumers limited to using mortgage lenders that have offices within driving distance,” he says. “And more options make getting a better rate and better terms more likely.”


But you also might be more prone to closing day hiccups.

“You may miss out on a good explanation of what you’re signing if you’re not at a title company or attorney’s office where staff can readily answer those questions or provide explanations,” says Deb Tomaro, broker associate at Re/Max Acclaimed Properties in Bloomington, IN. So before you decide to bag the office closing altogether, remember that the purchase paperwork is filled with a lot of Real Estate lingo that may be unclear or trigger questions. You may want to be somewhere where you have all the necessary resources on hand. And also, because these out-of-office transactions have many moving parts and multiple parties involved, there is also a greater chance for a disjointed process and a communication breakdown.

But we do agree that remote closings can still be a useful tool especially if you’re buying from out of state or have other issues that simply won’t allow you to be in the title office on the closing day. One thing: Since remote closings depend on the ability to locate a mobile notary, you’ll need to ask your lender, Realtor®, or title company for recommendations early on in the process.

After everything else, all you have to do is pick out the perfect place for you to close on your new home, in your own comfortable way.






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