Everything (almost) has pivoted in the past year towards electronic or digital signatures. Closings have become more efficient without several trees’ worth of paperwork through e-closings. While many real estate agencies have completed offers, counter-offers, and acceptances digitally, closings remained traditional in-person, pen-to-paper events. Some lenders may have a hybrid style closing. Here are some additional details about e-closing options.
An appointment will be made for an in-person closing. You’ll bring a cashier’s check and/or personal check for the down payment and any fees you’re responsible for. Then you’ll have piles of paperwork to read, initial, and sign. It takes a good hour even when choosing to read documents fully later on. Once you’ve signed all the pages, and hand over the funds, you’ll be handed the keys (or provided a time for pickup/dropoff).
A digital closing allows you to ‘sign’ all the same documents as you would in-person, either on your phone, tablet, or computer. You’ll receive a link to a software site, type in your name (or use your finger to write your signature), then you can read and click through adding your digital signature (e-signing) as you go through the digital closing packet. Documents that must be notarized can be completed through a video chat with a notary who has the digital-notary stamp. You will still need to transfer your down-payment and fees, which may be done through a bank transfer or by dropping off the funds at a title company. Unfortunately, many lenders still require some items to be signed with ink, but most of the transaction will be completed electronically.
Hybrid Style Closing
This is a combination of in-person and e-closing. Much of the signing will be through e-signing, and then go in-person to sign documents that must be notarized. The in-person appointment takes under 30 minutes to complete. Again, you’ll bring your down-payment and fees along with you and may walk out the door with the keys to your new home (or at least know when you can get them).
The Closing of Tomorrow
When it is time to close on your next home, don’t be surprised if most processes involving signatures have completely transitioned to e-signing. Not only are e-closings faster and convenient, but they are also more secure, and you’re less likely miss ‘one’ signature. Additionally, e-closings are eco-friendly, reducing the carbon footprint by using less paper, less energy, and less gas.