680 Homes – Inside Real Estate – Episode 16 – Closing Papers May 2019
Our episode of Inside Real Estate topic is, “What if I cannot be present to sign my closing papers?”
As we get towards closing, we make an appointment for you to sign your closing papers at the title company and then you find out you re on a business trip or you are not in town or you are out of the country, even worse. What do we do? How do we get our closing papers signed if you are not here?
Documents normally have to be notarized for you to close. The title company requires a notarized signature to issue title insurance. Unless the buyer is buying in all cash, in that case, nothing needs to be notarized. You can sign your paper electronically, via fax, any of those methods. But that is a fairly small percentage of the transactions. For any transaction involving a loan, the buyer must be present and have the documents notarized.
Occasionally we run into a situation where the buyer or one of the buyers is not available to sign their closing papers near closing. What do we do? Several options.
Number one: We do have mobile notaries, so they can come to you. If you are incapacitated or cannot come in to the title company to sign your closing papers, we can send out a mobile notary to take care of that for you.
What if you are going to traveling and you are going to be on a business trip or you are not going to be available? You can have your co-buyer execute a power of attorney that will give them the right to sign on your behalf and that is a pretty good option if you are going to be out of town or not available at closing. The only cautionary note on that is if you are buying in a trust or selling in a trust, title companies generally will not allow power of attorney.
If you live out of the area and you are closing escrow, you do not have to physically fly back to sign the closing papers, the papers can be sent to you wherever you are in the U.S and you can simply get the papers notarized and sign them and send them back to the title company. That does take a couple extra, three days, so you need to plan for that.
Now the big question, what if you are out of the country? What if you live in Europe or Asia and you need to sign your closing papers, but you cannot fly back to do so? It gets a little trickier. In that scenario, you need to make an appointment with the U.S Embassy or Consulate and you can take the papers there and get the papers notarized and then overnight them or FedEx them back to the title company. Caution there, because it takes two or three weeks sometimes to get an appointment at the Embassy, so you need to allow for plenty of time in advance if you are out of the Country and you need your papers notarized at a U.S Consulate or Embassy.
Hopefully you find this information helpful. The easiest, most direct route is for you to come in to the title company and sign them there, but there are other options if the circumstances arise. If we can be of any help to you or anyone you know, please do give us a call at 925-785-7777 or visit our website at 680homes.com