CLOSINGS IN THE TIMES OF COVID-19
Real estate plays an integral role in the American economy, providing the single greatest source of savings and wealth for many Americans. The market may fluctuate during the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, but as part of the backbone of the U.S. economy, most real estate transactions nevertheless continue. Businesses involved in those transactions – including Double Eagle Title – are considered essential to maintaining the continuity of the American real estate landscape.
While Double Eagle Title remains open for business and dedicated to providing a top-notch closing experience on every transaction, we have significantly reshaped our operations to ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees alike. This is a responsibility we do not take lightly.
Here are just some of the precautions we are taking in accordance with CDC guidelines:
Restricting access to our office. Attendance at closing is limited to one settlement agent and essential signing parties only; this means that family members, real estate agents and lenders who would normally attend closing must stay home or wait outside our office in the building lobby.
We have a very large conference room which enables us to offer plenty of space for social distancing during settlement.
All signing parties are highly encouraged to wear protective face coverings and gloves.
Our settlement agents wear masks and gloves and distance themselves at least six feet from customers. We promise we’re smiling under our masks!
Many of our team members are working from home. Following state guidelines there are never more than 10 people in our office at any given time, including those with signing appointments.
Surfaces are disinfected between each closing; new pens are provided and discarded after each use.
Prior to the appearance of COVID-19, Double Eagle Title implemented several electronic solutions that are proving to be indispensable during the epidemic. Not only do we have the robust back-office technology that allows many staffers to work from home, we have digital platforms that simplify the closing process and even minimize face-to-face interactions.
These technology solutions include:
Remote Online Notarization or “RON”. This is available but subject to the following:
o The buyer’s lender must consent for either the buyer and/or seller to sign with “RON”.
o All parties to the contract must agree in writing to allow “RON”.
o If “RON” is being considered, please connect with us and your lender ASAP so we can make a coordinated approach.
Electronic recordings: available in Northern Virginia, D.C. and parts of Maryland, meaning it’s not necessary for someone to physically enter most courthouses.
Working with title abstractors who are able to perform online title searches instead of searching in local courthouse record rooms.
Earnest Money Deposits that can be sent by electronic delivery using the ZOCCAM app, which is free and easily downloaded on mobile devices.
Throughout these trying times, Double Eagle Title will continue to provide peace of mind throughout each transaction while prioritizing the health and safety of our staff and customers. Closing may look slightly different right now, but we are committed to upholding the highest of standards in our work and will continue to serve our customers with smiles on our (masked) faces.