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Tag: video closing

  • How Do Video Closings for Real Estate and Mortgages Work?

    How Do Video Closings for Real Estate and Mortgages Work?

    Virtual video closings keep mortgages and Real Estate transactions flowing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, it has become challenging to close a real estate transaction, especially for those thousands of buyers and sellers who are planning to close their transactions over the next few weeks or even months.

    Why Do We Need video Closings for Real Estate and Mortgages?

    The closing process requires documents to be signed and commissioned in front of a lawyer or a commissioner of oaths, which presents an issue when people are quarantined, stuck abroad due to travel restrictions, or simply cannot travel to the lawyer’s office due to quarantine or closure of the office.

    As of March 16, 2020, the Law Society of Ontario has issued a special bulletin to allow remote commissioning of documents as a special measure to deal with the disruption caused by COVID-19.  In addition, title insurers and some lenders have indicated flexibility given the situation.

    Deeded has invested in virtual signing technology that allows clients to securely sign their documents from the comfort of their home.  All they need is a computer, an internet connection, and a smart phone.   There’s no need to print, courier or scan documents.

    This technology allows us to securely present documents, have them signed and witnesses in real-time, and record the entire interaction for security purposes.

    How Do Virtual Signings Work?

    Step 1 – Scheduling The Signing Appointment

    Clients will receive a calendar meeting invite with a link.   The session takes place live and can be scheduled at a convenient time.   All individuals who are signing need to attend, but they do not have to be at the same location. 

    Step 2 – The Virtual Signing

    All parties will be able to see each other on a live video stream.  The lawyer will explain the entire process and will ask each signer to identify themselves and show photo ID.  Clients will

    Each document to be signed is presented on the screen, explained, and is signed on the screen by each party.  If the client does not have a touch-screen device, a SMS or email can be sent to their mobile device and they can sign on the surface of their mobile device using their finger or stylus.

    The lawyer or commissioner will also sign where applicable.

    Step 3 – Security Protocols

    Throughout the meeting, the audio and video of the conference is recorded along with the documents being signed.  A secure audit log is used to confirm items such as the signer’s location and identification.   The video is stored on servers offering bank-grade security.

    Step 4 – Final Documents Distributed

    As soon as the meeting is complete and parties sign off, the final electronic version of all signed documents is distributed securely for everyone’s records.  

    Preparing for Your Virtual Signing Appointment

    Make sure you have your laptop, tablet and mobile phone ready and that you have a high-speed internet connection.

    Have all signing parties bring picture ID to the Virtual Signing appointment

    Ensure all parties signing have the calendar invite and meeting link

    Log into the Virtual Signing session on the scheduled time

    Ensure only those parties who are signing are in the room, or if there is someone else in the room, that person’s identity would be noted, and possibly they would be asked to leave the room

    If you are interested in using a video closing on your next real estate closing or mortgage transaction, our Deeded Team is ready to help you get started, to obtain a quote, please click here. 

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  • Realtors: Real Estate Transactions Amidst COVID-19

    Realtors: Real Estate Transactions Amidst COVID-19

    Will COVID-19 impact closing your Real Estate transactions?

    A hotter than ever spring housing market coupled with a reduction in mortgage rates is responsible for record-breaking numbers of Real Estate transactions in markets across Ontario.

    As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, it may soon become a reality that your clients and perhaps you will face a quarantine much like we’ve already seen occur in China, Italy, Iran and other countries.

    This may present unexpected challenges in closing your Real Estate transactions that may impact your clients and your business. Here are the most common questions we've received along with potential contingency plans to minimize disruption to your business and your client’s lives.

    For Firm Deals, Are Clients Obligated Too Close?

    Most firm residential real estate transactions in Ontario require the buyer or seller to close the transaction by a specific date as set out in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS). 

    Most residential transactions do not usually include a force majeure clause that typically excuses a party from performance if the failure to perform is due to an event beyond the party’s control.

    Therefore, in most cases, clients will still be obligated to close their transaction despite any challenges that may be beyond their control.

    For any deals moving forward, consider incorporating a COVID-19 delay clause into your real estate transaction to protect you and your clients from a delay that is caused directly by COVID-19 disruption (such as a quarantine). This clause should be written and reviewed by a lawyer as it will need to be specific, clear and enforceable.

    Can Closings Be Delayed As a Result of COVID-19?

    Closing can be delayed if an amendment to the agreement of purchase and sale (APS) is signed and agreed upon by all parties.  If you or your clients foresee the need to postpone or change your closing date, the sooner amendments can be signed by both parties, the better. 

    Given the uncertainly, it is important to proactively communicate with your clients, lawyer, and the co-operating agent to ensure the closing is proceeding as scheduled.  Knowing the flexibility of your buyers and sellers can make a big difference in putting together potential amendments.

    What if Clients Cannot Make it to Sign Closing Documents?

    To close the transaction, your clients will have to attend a lawyer’s office to sign closing documents.  Some lawyers may offer at-home signing, which may not work in the case of a full quarantine.

    At Deeded, we have started to leverage remote signing and ID verification technology to allow clients to sign documents via video conference from the comfort of their home.  This service is available to qualified clients. Please reach out to us at hello@deeded.ca if we can help with your closing.

    What if Lenders Are Disrupted By Coronavirus?

    Most employers are taking serious measures to protect their employees and prevent further spread of the virus in the workplace. As such, lending operations may face delays and logjams caused by shortages of staff.

    Mortgage instructions from the lender are required to close a deal that requires financing and a delay in getting mortgage instructions may mean a delay in closing. It is best to be proactive, working with your partners on the deal to ensure that:

    1. 1. Clients sign mortgage commitments - Some lenders may offer remote options to sign paperwork.
    2. 2. Mortgage instructions are sent to the lawyer's office at least 2-3 days prior to closing

    What if The Land Registry Closes Down?

    Most title insurance policies include Gap Coverage that insures both purchasers and lenders against losses due to intervening registrations on title between the date of closing and the date of registration.

    This means that in the event that online registration is no longer available, or land registry offices experience delays or closures due to COVID-19, real estate transactions can close on time and funds and keys can be released to the respective parties.

    What if My Brokerage is Closed?

    Some brokerages have advised agents to work from home and may take additional steps to close their office during the pandemic and have deal staff working from home. This may impact your ability to take deposit cheques and collect commission cheques in a timely manner.

    For deposits, you can ask that it be wired or directly deposited into your brokerage's trust account instead of taking deposits as cheques. Payment for commissions can also be wired/transferred from the lawyer's office to the brokerage and if your broker is already setup to transfer commissions into your bank account, this can avoid any delays and potentially disrupting your cash flow.

    How Else Will COVID-19 impact The closings of my Real Estate transactions?

    The escalating situation with the spread of COVID-19 may impact other parts of your transaction such as your lawyers, mortgage brokers, stagers and other key resources.  It is more important than ever to proactively communicate with your partners and develop a contingency plan. 

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