A traditional real-estate closing begins with a bunch of people passing pens and papers around a table. It ends with a round of amiable handshakes. During the coronavirus pandemic, however, the customary mortgage closing seems hazardous. Electronic closings, or e-closings, may be a partial solution as buyers and sellers attempt to navigate social-distancing guidelines.
Most mortgage e-closings still require in-person meetings. So if you’ve pictured e-closing as something done completely online, that’s probably not how it’s going to go.
Even so, an e-closing is likely to proceed faster than a traditional mortgage closing, and you’re probably going to be more well-informed about what’s happening each step of the way.
What Is an E-closing?
“An e-closing is a loan closing where at least one document is signed electronically,” Rachael Sokolowski, president of Magnolia Technologies, an information technology consulting firm, said in an email.
The mortgage closing, or settlement, is the process in which a home buyer and seller review and sign the documents to finalize the loan and transfer the property. Up through the 20th century, settlement documents were paper and signed in ink.