Buying or Refinancing a Home is stressful enough, now we have to factor in a Pandemic?
For approximately two months, the real estate industry in Pennsylvania has been doing its best to operate under the stay-at-home orders.
Yesterday, Governor Wolfe vetoed HB 2412 (proposed legislation which advocated for a waiver from the PA COVID-19 Business Closure Order for all real estate related activities (real estate agents, title companies, real estate attorneys, notaries, etc.)
The HB 2414 legislation was proposed in April before Centre County was downgraded from a red to yellow county. Yesterday, after vetoing the bill, Governor Wolfe issued this press release which speaks to, among other things, how real estate closings and settlements are to occur in yellow and red counties for the time being.
Specifically, if you are currently scheduled for a real estate closing, here are the guidelines you can expect the real estate attorney and/or title companies to by abiding by:
- Closing will be scheduled in advance (which is typical – pandemic or not)
- All in-person activities will be limited as much as possible
- As a result of the promulgated guidance, the utilization of remote notary, powers of attorney (POA), and the exchange of contract documents electronically or by mail is preferred to minimize exposure of the parties, the real estate agents, the lenders, the title agent/real estate attorney.
- If it is impossible for the transaction to take place remotely; “in-person attendance must be limited to required signatories and their legal counsel or real estate professional (read – title agent). Steps to preserve social distancing must also be followed to the maximum extent possible and advance copies of documents should be provided for review prior to the settlement date.
So, how do these reaffirmed guidelines affect your closing? In form (physical presence) only.
With 2020 technology, it is so easy to jump on a secured video meeting to discuss your closing documents (settlement statements, loan documents, and legal instruments such as deeds and mortgages) just like if we were meeting in person. And, with the limitations in place, video meetings permit your entire team (realtor, lender, attorney/title agent) to be present for your closing and celebrate your home buying experience with you as opposed to the 2-person-limit with only signing occurring.
Then, for the documents that do need notarized, in-person signing/notary is still permitted which eliminates the need for the Remote Online Notary (RON) services as well. You’ll simply arrive at the licensed notary’s location, sign the necessary documents, and return to your every day life.
Finally, once all of your documents are signed, the closing is processed, your loan is funded for your mortgage, and your legal documents are recorded; simple as that.
If you have an upcoming closing and wish to utilize Attorney Covalt as your real estate attorney and title agent, feel free to contact Covalt Law to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about the process. Additionally, Attorney Covalt utilized Nittany Settlement Company in State College, Pennsylvania as the title company for all closings; feel free to explore their website to learn more information about Nittany Settlement Company’s services as well.
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