Digital Closing

Digital Closing

Northgate Title combines the power of secure digital solutions with a legacy of service and knowledge. Real Estate closings have evolved significantly since the 1980s. Fax machines, email, and next-day delivery mail services made remote closings possible.

Mail-away closings were already mainstream in 2019 when the 2020 global pandemic necessitated new procedures for remote and contactless closings. The title industry rose to the challenge, and today remote closings leveraging digital tools are becoming legal and common in many states across the U.S.

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What is a Digital Closing?

A digital closing leverages electronic records, electronic signature, and often video conference technology to complete all or most of the real estate closing electronically and remotely. While digital closings are becoming more common, the availability of fully remote or electronic closings varies per state.

It is important to know that a digital closing does not mean an impersonal closing. Your title agent and notary are fully involved in the process. Our team can guide you in understanding your state’s requirements for a digital closing and outline the plan for your fully digital or partially digital (also known as hybrid) closing.

Benefits Of A Digital Closing

Our team is experienced in guiding clients through digital closings, providing the same level of engagement, communication, and support as we do for our in-person closings.

Digital closings allow parties of a transaction, lender, title agent, seller, buyer, and notary, to participate in a closing remotely. This is greatly advantageous in circumstances where contactless closings are needed or desired. It also provides an excellent solution if there is a lack of a notary in a specific location (such as in smaller towns or rural areas). Other benefits of a digital closing include:

  • Easier scheduling of the closing since all parties do not have to be at the same place at the same time.
  • Provides accessibility for individuals with mobility challenges or travel restrictions.
  • Reduces the use of paper and saves on fees to print, copy, and mail documents.
  • Allows for greater privacy since sellers and buyers do not need to meet at the closing.
  • As long as there is reliable internet access, buyers and sellers can work, travel, or vacation even if closing on a property.

It is important to note that in a hybrid closing, buyers and sellers may need to be present in person (separately or together) in an approved location, however, documents are signed and notarized using secure electronic software. The release of keys (if applicable) is coordinated through the Realtors or mailed. For electronic keys, these are reprogrammed by the new owner after closing.

When Can I Have A Digital Closing?

A digital closing can typically occur to complete the following:

  • Seller Side: Signing the seller side documents of most transactions.
  • Cash Deals: Signing both the seller and buyer side documents on cash transactions.
  • Owner Financed Deals: Signing seller, buyer, borrower documents on owner financed transactions.

Tools Used for a Digital Closing

RON – Remote Online Notary

Northgate Title uses secure audio-visual technology over the internet, like Zoom or Facetime leveraging the capabilities of Notarize, instead of being physically present in the same room.

The signers and the notaries are visible to each other, and the notary follows specific protocols, including verifying the signer’s identification and confirming the signer understands all the documents and is willing to sign. The Notary then uses secure software to collect electronic signatures and issue an electronic stamp to confirm notarization.

Online Deposits & Payments

Northgate Title uses safe and secure online deposits powered by Payload Keybox software which automates the collection and reconciliation of earnest money deposits, commission disbursements, and various other Real Estate and Legal payment types.

24/7 Online File Access

Northgate Title provides 24/7 online file access through Qualia Connect.

Qualia Connect is the industry’s first online all-in-one secure portal to streamline communication around the closing.

Easily place orders and get quotes, automate progress updates, stay up to date on the status of your file, message and share documents securely through the Connect portal, schedule the closing with all the closing parties.

Our team has years of experience in successfully coordinating and completing digital closings and hybrid closings. To learn more about how we manage digital closings, please contact us HERE or give us a call at (423) 875-9533.