In view of the importance of a real estate Closing to home buyers and sellers, and the serious impact that a delay in Closing can have upon the parties and their families, we will continue to conduct operations while taking all possible precautions.
Specifically, we are taking the following steps for the safety of our clients, business partners and employees:
- All employees are working from home offices. We will only be in our office locations for Closings. All employees have full access to our telephone system and files so that the service level to our clients is not impacted.
For Purchase Closings:
- We are limiting attendance to the buyers. We ask sellers and their attorneys to respect this policy by providing pre-executed documents for the Closing. Except in special circumstances, the only persons in attendance at the signing of the mortgage papers will be the buyers and the title notary.
- Masks, gloves, and alcohol wipes will be available.
- New pens will be provided for each Closing. Clients are encouraged to keep the pens afterwards. Clients may use their own pens if they wish as long as they have blue ink.
- We are asking the mortgage lenders to waive any ‘funding requirements’ that would extend the amount of time required for the Closings.
For sale Closings:
- We will make arrangements to sign documents with our clients in advance of the Closing date. Our seller clients will not be asked to attend the Closing.
In addition, be prepared for delays.
Possible interruption of services from lenders, title companies or County records offices may impact Closing dates. Please do not shut off utilities, cancel insurance or make other irrevocable arrangements based on projected Closing dates without speaking with my office.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. James Miner, Esq.
Tips to ensure your closing proceeds with a minimum of disruption:
We do not know what the future holds for necessary services, such as home inspections, bank appraisals, municipal inspections, title searches, mortgage underwriting, etc., so try to meet all requirements as early in the process as possible. Other specific recommendations follow:
- Email or text a photo of your identification (driver’s license or passport) to my office in advance of the closing.
- You will be required to provide certified funds for the closing. Check with your bank for current procedures to obtain a teller check or to create a wire transfer. Also remember, never wire transfer funds without speaking with me first.
- Closing figures will be provided in advance for you to review and raise any questions.
- Be flexible as to closing arrangements, such as time and location, when we are working to schedule your closing.
- Do you walk-through well in advance and inform my office of any issues. As we are required to minimize personal contact, there can be no walk-through negotiations at the closing.
- For closing the mortgage documents, our title closer will meet with you to obtain signatures on the documents and then leave. I will handle the seller portion separately and will be available by telephone for any questions that arise regarding the documents.
- Find the title insurance policy from your purchase of the home. This could be invaluable if there are difficulties performing the County title searches.
- If the property is part of a homeowner’s association, have proof that your dues are paid current. This will help if there are difficulties obtaining a Statement of Account from HOA management.
- You will be required to sign documents in advance of the closing, some of which must be notarized. We will discuss procedures to provide the documents to you and arrangements to meet with the notary.