Electronic signing has made life in the real estate world sooo much easier! No longer do we have to travel across town (or cross country) for signatures on contracts and purchase agreements… or try to decipher documents that have been faxed so many times they are no longer readable.
But while electronic signing is wonderful for pre-closing paperwork, signing of mortgage documents and title transfers that happen at closing require ink on paper signing.
That said, it doesn't necessarily mean that you must be present for closing. Sellers often pre-sign and give Power of Attorney to either their real estate agent or a family member or friend for signing the final settlement statement and other miscellaneous documents/changes that might come up at closing. If sellers don't live in the area (as often happens in the case of estates or relocation), documents can be emailed ahead of time for printing and signing in front of a notary… with originals delivered to the closing title company.
If you are buying it isn't quite as simple. If you are paying cash, no problem… but if you will be signing mortgage documents it is up to your lender. You typically cannot pre-sign for your mortgage, but may be able to give Power of Attorney for someone to sign on your behalf. In the closing in the photo above, Mrs. Buyer was out of town and Mr. Buyer had power of attorney to sign for her.
If you will be unable to attend closing, be sure to tell your Realtor and title company closer in advance so accommodations can be made.
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Estate and Relocation Agent