Completing a Real Estate Transaction While Under a Stay-at-Home Order

Real estate

Stay-at-home orders and other restrictions instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are presenting challenges for buyers and sellers. But technology and adjustments in certain state laws may allow you to complete your transaction. If you are trying to buy or sell your home, there are options to close the deal effectively during this pandemic.

Using online methods to complete necessary steps for a property sale

Many activities associated with a real estate transaction no longer have to be conducted in person. Lawyers and real estate agents can communicate online and conduct a negotiation between two parties through video conferencing. Even open houses can now be conducted online. Many states have included lawyers and realtors within the definition of essential workers who are relieved of quarantine so long as social distancing measures are observed. By limiting inspections and home visits only to the people who absolutely need to be there, the risk of coronavirus exposure is reduced.

Conducting legal tasks remotely or virtually

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, several states had established or were considering procedures for remote online notarization of documents. Amid the pandemic, the potential risk of exposure associated with bringing notaries and witnesses together has led some states to allow remote notarization on a temporary basis. Closings can also be conducted virtually, with attorneys reviewing the essential documents and parties signing them on video. Recording of deeds and other documents with the county or other applicable government authority may also be completed remotely. The new procedures vary by state and possibly by county, so it’s wise to learn about the current provisions in your area before seeking to close a transaction online.

A qualified real estate lawyer can explain the best way to get that done. Though some adjustments might need to be made, you should be able to close the deal.