Real Estate Closings and COVID-19

At our office we prioritize the safety and comfort of our community and our staff. As of today, we are offering our clients different options for how to close on their real estate transactions. As of April 1, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp has authorized remote real estate closings. This will allow everyone to sign remotely via a video conference through encrypted video conferencing.

How will it work?

  1. Before a real estate closing can occur via video conference, the lender and title insurance company must agree and allow for the closing to occur via video conference. We have already received guidelines from the title insurance companies. However, we must obtain approval through each individual lender.
  2. Once we have approval from all parties, we will send everyone a secure video conference link. The program we use will allow you to close using your computer or phone.
  3. You MUST be located in the state of Georgia. Georgia notaries are only authorized to notarized within the state of Georgia.
  4. The lender and title insurance companies still require a wet signature.
  5. We will FedEx your documents to you and you will FedEx them back to us. You can also drop them by our office. We have social distancing guidelines in place for anyone who wants to drop off their documents.
  6. We cannot fund your transaction until we have your documents back in our office.

How to get ready for your video conference:

  1. Let our office know in advance that you would like to close via video conference.
  2. Please have your photo ID and a second form of ID ready to show the closing attorney. The second form of ID can be a passport, membership card, utility bill, etc. This second identification is recommended by the title insurance companies, and we want to be diligent in making sure we have the correct signors.
  3. Sign all documents in blue ink.
  4. If you have questions, ask! We are still here to assist you through your closing process.

What if I can’t do a video conference?

If you are unable to close via video conference, then we will have you sign at our office. However, we will have new guidelines for closing in our office to ensure the safety and comfort of our clients and staff.

  1. Pursuant to the CDC guidelines, we ask that you not come to our office if you have a fever or cough, been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or suspect to have COVID-19, recently travelled internationally, or were ordered to self-quarantine by a health care worker.
  2. We ask that only the person who is signing come into the office. Buying a house is exciting and we know you want to share this experience with your loved ones. However, given this unprecedented time, we ask that only the signor come into the office.
  3. We ask real estate agents to not attend closing to further reduce the number of people we have in our office. We understand that as an agent, you want to see the closing and congratulate your clients. We are happy to have you call in, and listen to the closing, or your client can use a video conferencing app to have you watch the closing via video conferencing.
  4. If you would like to stagger your closing, please let us know! We can schedule the buyers and the sellers 30 minutes apart, to allow for social distancing.
  5. Please take your pen home with you. We are not allowing people to reuse pens.
  6. We are continuing to clean the conference room in between closings.
  7. If you feel uncomfortable coming into the office, you can execute a power of attorney and have someone sign on your behalf.

We are working diligently to make sure this new process is easy and streamline. As our policies change, we will notify you. If you have any additional questions about our video conference option or about any of our new policies, please call us at 770-382-4702.