Our Closing Process
Our closing process certainly changed during the height of the crisis, but we are now in the process of returning to normal. The safety of our clients, their agents and our settlement officers remains our top concern, of course.
Prior to settlement, notify Masters Title & Escrow if any of the following apply to any party to a transaction or to a person who intends to attend settlement:
- A diagnosis (positive test result) for COVID-19
- Awaiting the results of a test for COVID-19
- Under quarantine by direction of a healthcare provider
- Have traveled (or a household member has traveled) in the past 14 days to anywhere designated as having widespread sustained spread by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Geographic Risk Assessment tool: https://www.cdc.gov/coronaviru…
- Have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
- Have been in contact with someone who has had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
There are ways to mitigate exposure in real estate transactions. Please help us do so.
Preparing for Settlement:
- We will verify the sellers’ wire instructions for proceeds.
- We will obtain overnight courier address or wire instructions for broker commissions.
- We will contact the parties in advance of the closing to set expectations.
- Whenever possible, we will send for review prior to closing all documents available to us.
- All title and possession-related issues must be resolved before a signing may be scheduled.
- Buyers and Sellers may wish to sign separately, and we will accommodate, but in any case all attendees must practice social distancing.
- Remote Online Notarization (RON) is available for most settlements. Additional fees may apply.
Funding and Disbursement:
- Any cash necessary to close must be wired.
- Sellers’ proceeds and brokers commission will be wired or sent via overnight courier.
Due to COVID many clerks and recording offices are working with limited staff, causing delays in recording deeds, mortgages/deeds of trust and other instruments. It can still take several months to receive recorded documents (and title insurance policies).
Note: In some cases we will engage a third-party mobile notary or remote online notary to conduct signings. In these cases we will finalize the details with the parties to the transaction and coordinate the signing of documents with the closer, who may then reach out directly to the client to schedule.