What are my Closing Options in this Electronic Age?
While our beloved Commonwealth of Virginia prides itself on keeping up with the Joneses in all matters of E-Commerce, we have taken more of a “wait and see” attitude toward the most electronic of closing technologies. Naturally, big states with fewer Notary Publics per square mile would need to take the lead on electronic notarizations. But even in smaller eastern states with a notary on every corner, modern living has led states like Virginia to dive head long into allowing E-Signatures and Skype or FaceTime type closings. With the average real estate sales agreement needing about 4 or 5 amendments, addenda, schedules, or counter-offers to become a fully executed final agreement, it behooves realtors and property owners or buyers to know their options.
Do click this link to see a very pithy article and table of options for your signing logistics on your next real estate purchase, sale, or refinance:
And while we all crave convenience, keep in mind that convenience can seem pretty trivial if you are the victim of identity theft or other cyber crime. If a technology is TOO EASY, it means it is also vulnerable. Most mortgage lenders have encrypted drop boxes where you can upload your sacred financial information, your “NPPI”. Make sure that you inquire about the security and encryption protocols used by anyone that asks you for your SSN, DOB, Account Numbers, Copies of Tax Returns, Bank Statements, etc..
Whenever possible, try to sign significant documents in person. . . . Especially if you will be able to ask questions and get some legal advice as part of the fee you are already paying. And remember, only an attorney licensed to practice law in the state where you need the advice, and in a private legal practice, (i.e., not just an employee of a lender, realtor, title company, etc., that is doing your closing) can give you sanctioned, reliable, binding and accountable legal advice. Everyone else is involved in a misdemeanor known as the Unauthorized Practice of Law.