Digital Home Closings Now Possible In 15 New States
Thanks to a new strategic partnership, homebuyers in 15 states can now see faster (and fully digital) closings on real estate transactions.
As of this morning, digital notary platform Notarize has partnered with Title Resources, a national title company, to offer electronic notarizations to its customers. The deal opens the door to 100% digital closing processes in 15 states where such services weren’t yet available.
Though many lenders and title companies offer digital applications and underwriting processes, most still require buyers have a physically present public notary come closing day. With Notarize, customers can now have their documents notarized via webcam—no commutes or travel fees necessary.
New states where the partnership has opened up digital closing potential include:
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin. Electronic notarization regulations vary by county, though, so not every buyer in these states will be able to take advantage of the new possibilities.
Still, the partnership marks a move in the right direction for today’s digitally-savvy buyers. A total of 265 million homebuyers can now enjoy fully online closing processes across the country.
“Understanding the value technology can bring to all participants of a real estate transaction, our organization has prioritized investing in technologies like Notarize that streamline complex processes and deliver newfound convenience,” said Scott McCall, CEO of Title Resources. “By reducing paper, time and human error, and allowing customers to close anytime, anywhere, on their terms, we are empowering our agents to deliver an exceptional customer experience.”
Online mortgage lender Lenda was the first of its kind to partner with Notarize, back in August of last year.
“Notarization in and of itself is such an antiquated thing,” said Jason van den Brand, CEO and founder of Lenda. “Notarize figured that out. They built this really modern, scalable platform.”
According to van den Brand, the impact of e-notaries is significant.
“There's like 110 million mortgages in the country, so you're talking about 110 million notarizations at the kitchen table or at the title company,” van den Brand said. “You have to take off work, you have to drive somewhere, or they have to drive you. I mean the carbon footprint on this alone is enormous.”
Lenda was even able to process its fastest loan ever—which closed in just 13 days—thanks to Notarize’s tools.
And interest in those tools is on the rise. In May, Lennar, the country’s largest homebuilder, took part in Notarize’s most recent round of funding. The Uniform Law Commission is also expected to adopt an amendment that would allow any state to authorize e-notarizations sometime this week.
“I think, by the end of next year—the end of 2019—this should be a commonplace thing in about 50% of the country,” van den Brand said. “That's really exciting. It's just more convenient. It's safer. It's secure. We're not knocking down forests to sign paperwork that we could do digitally, and anytime there's anything that's done faster, done online, it saves you money.”
Though Notarize’s new partnership most definitely benefits American homebuyers, it will also trickle down to the mortgage lenders those buyers use, as well.
According to Adam Pase, cofounder and COO at Notarize, lenders could save significantly by adopting a fully digital process.
“The average cost per loan for the lender is nearly $9,000 today,” Pase said. “By converting to digital mortgage closings, several factors are reduced—mailing and FedEx and paper costs are eliminated, human error is greatly reduced, and dwell time is reduced from 17 days to one, all of which can add up to hundreds of dollars in savings per loan.”