Remote Closings And You: How COVID-19 Has Redefined the Real Estate Closing Process
What We Know:
The financial side of real estate has been stalled on many fronts these past few months due to the economic lockdown.
Offices are closing, and would-be buyers are losing their jobs. Appraisers aren’t allowed into properties, title companies are limiting closings. There are also complications of safely converting everyone’s office jobs to work-from-home positions. This influx of rapid-fire changes puts a strain on the mortgage process and adds stress to closing on properties.
But, things are improving. We are beginning to see some positive changes thanks to the introduction of remote and online closings.
What Is Changing:
For starters, buyers and sellers are no longer required to physically drive across town at a prescribed hour that works for everyone and suit up with masks and gloves for a closing.
Systems are now in place for closings to happen 100% from the comfort of home or office ( or really, anywhere you need to be.) Remote closings are real and they’re happening, along with simple remote notarizations. These simple adaptations eliminate so many hurdles to the closing process and help speed things along, especially in these unique times.
Fidelity, one of the largest title companies in the industry, is all-in with the remote advancements and allowing clients to choose how they close.
What the Future Holds:
We could be heading for a time when remote appraisals are standard and virtual showings become the norm. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. We’re inching closer to that reality by the day.
Just imagine the mortgage process taking place in a week or two, and not months!
Of course, this is good news for investors selling SFR properties and/or refinancing. Landlords owning commercial properties may see values drop. After all, more people are working from home without having to physically come into an office.
On the rate front, we’re seeing very stable numbers. However, we’re still staring at a wall when it comes to refinancing.
As states open up and lift restrictions, let’s hope people run out and get back to work and start spending like we are all used to.