In our current Stay at Home Order Climate in Northern Virginia, we have put together some of the important and helpful tools that our vendor partners at KVS Title and New World Title have done to be able to comply with the evolving situation to keep our clients safe and moving forward in their home buying and selling processes. Executive orders 53 and 55 from our Governor indicate that Real Estate and financial services are essential, and we will all continue to do our jobs under the protocols that keep our clients safe and healthy.
The situation with the pandemic is new; however, we have been conducting business for our clients both paperless and virtually from our end over a decade with our deployed and out of state clients who were buying and selling homes, this process is not new to us. The “newness” is the added complexity of the virus.
Please know that we take the utmost care in health and safety and are so grateful that these partners have pivoted to take care of clients in this way. Please take a look:
New World Title:
Obviously services are the same, but we can offer:
Drive Up Closings
At Home/Mobile Closings
In Office – Fully Sanitized Rooms, 6 ft distance between closer & clients, glove available, etc.
Sometimes eclosings, but typically only on cash transactions
Here is what we are doing to keep clients and staff safe:
• Settlements will be restricted to our locations in Ashburn, Fairfax and McLean. We will not conduct closings in our satellite locations (Alexandria, Arlington, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, DC, and Reston), that are in shared office space over which we have no direct control.
• Mobile settlements (i.e. in-home) will continue to be provided upon request.
• Electronic or on-line settlements will be an option for some situations, depending on lender and court approval.
• For settlements in one of our three offices, we are encouraging that only those executing documents attend. Loan officers and realtors are invited to observe through video links such as Facetime or Skype.
• We will try to make settlement documents available to clients prior to settlement so they may be reviewed ahead of time. Clients are invited to sign all non-notarized documents and bring them to settlement.
• Parties are invited to bring their own blue pens; otherwise they will be provided with a new, unused pen, that they make take home or it will be discarded.
• Settlement appointments will be scheduled to prevent more than one settlement occurring in a particular office at any one time.
• Hard copy duplicate settlement documents will not be provided unless requested. We will deliver scanned copies of all settlement documents via our Qualia portal.
• Conference rooms will be sanitized prior to every settlement.
• All locations (at present) have hand sanitizer available for use.
• Only disposable cups and individual bottles of water will be available.
• Only limited number of our team members will be staffing our offices, with others teleworking; this is to limit contact with visitors.
• Our team members understand that if they are exposed to COVID-19 or those exhibiting the symptoms, or if they are exhibiting those symptoms, they must stay home.
The operation of courthouses is another challenge impacting our industry. Operational circuit court land records are necessary for the recordation of deeds and mortgages. City and county circuit courts are even now making decisions to remain open, close access to the general public or closed entirely.
• We are monitoring the situation with court operations on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.
• We record the majority of documents for settlements electronically, particularly in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
• We can arrange, in cases, to conduct settlements and disburse funds prior to recording documents.
While DC, Maryland and Virginia have issued Stay-At-Home orders, all three jurisdictions consider title companies to be “essential businesses.” This means Buyers and Sellers are permitted to conduct their official business of attending closing as scheduled. However, DC has provided additional guidance to the real estate industry during this Stay-At-Home period, stating we should have “the minimal number of persons present to handle the closing.” Therefore, in order to minimize the number of people in all of our offices and at the closing table, and to keep the CDC recommended 6ft distance between individuals during closing, we are recommending agents not attend closing in person. Instead, you can attend closing with your client via Facetime or other video conference. We think this is the best way to complete the transaction and keep our clients and staff safe.
We are happy to include you at the table this way and answer any questions you may have during settlement. Thank you for your understanding.
They are conducting in home settlements one on one with minimal people present. They are doing in office settlements with one party at a time. They have the capability to do e-notary services.
Please let us know if you’re ready to chat about what strategy you need right now. We’re here to talk and be your resource.