Swift and widespread uptake of online services, has cleared the path for statewide use of remote online notarization (RON). Today, more than 29 states in the U.S have signed RON into law, as a replacement or stand-in-for the traditional in-person notarization.
Realtors and mortgage lenders have found a new way of notarizing documents using RON which has sped up the sometimes lengthy signatory process of lending or real estate sales and purchase transactions.
Notably, the real estate sales sector has always been an in-person business, and the rapid change to doing it online has been breathtaking. Less than a year ago you’d never view a video of the property and buy it unseen, nor would you sign the sales transaction remotely.
However, COVID-19 has changed this industry forever. Technology is now front and center of real estate sales. Lockdowns and social distancing have changed our behaviour, so buyers are just getting on with it, viewing property listings online, digital mortgages and buying them site unseen.
How Does Remote Online Notarization Work?
Well, instead of being physically present to get a document notarized you log in and get it done via video conferencing or video chat software. Tech like Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams make the remote online notarization process quick and easy.
There are some differences between in-person notarization and getting it done online. When it comes to signing the documents, electronic signatures are used and replacing the ink stamp is an electronic notary seal. Another change is the notary’s signature is replaced with an electronic certificate. Finally, the document is secured stored online as opposed to in a physical filing system.
Other sectors using the online notary system are currency exchanges, attorneys, accountants, some property managers, and there are some banks now notarizing documents.
Enactment of RON Law
On March 18, 2020, the SECURE Act, was introduced to authorize minimum standards for remote and electronic notarizations. If the Act becomes a law, it will permit every notary in the United States to perform RON using visual-audio communications.
Currently, there are more than 26 states that have enacted some of the remote online notarization laws. And each state has its regulations and requirements. Therefore, make a point of understanding and following the jurisdiction within your state.
Benefits of Remote Online Notarization
Realtors and lenders are embracing RON at a gradual pace. Lenders need to fast-track remote online notarization to enable them to have contactless end-to-end transactions. The immense benefits of RON include;
Faster and Accurate Transactions
A real estate deal is typically lengthy and cumbersome. It involves a myriad of procedural formalities. And in most cases, the clients may not be available to sign the needed documents
Fortunately, RON is making everything seamless. Should we say Covid-19 was a blessing in disguise? The social distancing factors have led to the actualization of RON. Now, you can get the client to sign the documents in a matter of minutes. With traditional notarization, it could take several days or weeks to get signatures.
RON software, unlike paper documents, ensures you have complete documents at any time of the day. The elimination of paperwork also means you’ll get everything accurately.
Enhances Client Satisfaction
Using new technologies to improve real estate sales service improves customer satisfaction.
With real-time videoconferencing, i.e. using Zoom there are more hours in the day for the live chat with a client.
The remote online notarization makes it easier and faster to interact with clients. With traditional notarization, it would require you to find the client. And sometimes, the hectic schedules and distance barriers would make things quite hectic.
Ultimately, remote e-notarization enables your clients to sign documents anywhere and anytime via audio and video conferencing.
Reduced Operation Costs
Selling or buying homes online would still require you to append your signature on paper documents, but with RON, the deal is done faster, and your admin person can tidy up leaving you to focus on more business.
The real estate sector has transformed it’s business, with many new technologies and consumers are along for the ride.
If you want to become an authorized RON, it’s crucial to understand your state jurisdiction regulation requirements. RON procedures might vary depending on state laws so speak to your legal department to get more informed about this process.