This Disclosure is provided to every Lender, Agent, Buyer, and Seller closing a real estate purchase or sale with Stock and Leader and shall apply until further notice. The Disclosure provides an overview of the process that Stock and Leader will be following when it facilitates a real estate closing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following procedures are implemented to protect the health, safety, and lives of our staff, our attorneys, and our families, as well as our community as a whole. Please understand that these procedural changes are not typically how we at Stock and Leader do business; however, due to the severity of the situation, we appreciate your understanding and willingness to work with us during this time.
- Closing Coordinator will forward the closing package (buyer’s financing package and title documents, and Seller’s Deed, title documents, and any applicable financing documents) to Closing Attorney with contact information for Buyers, Sellers, and their respective agents.
- Closing Attorney will call Buyer and Seller to discuss and organize closing. Pertinent questions and comments:
- Is Buyer able to print the mortgage package from an email we send, or should we send the original mortgage package by FedEx?
- Is Seller able to print Seller’s documents from an email or do they require a FedEx?
- Can Buyer/Seller get the necessary documents notarized or do we need to schedule a remote online notarization?
- Confirm with Buyers and Sellers that the Closing Coordinator will confirm wiring instructions for sending and receiving money
- Schedule a time for Attorney and Buyers to have settlement via phone or video conference.
- Prior to Settlement, the Closing Coordinator will forward the settlement documents to Buyers and Sellers (via email or via FedEx).
- The Closing attorney will conduct settlement, and review documents over the phone or by video with Buyers and Sellers.
- Some points to consider:
- Direct Sellers to leave garage door openers and all but one key in the property.
- Confirm Buyers and Sellers have checked with moving companies about whether they are operational during Governor’s ordered shutdown.
- Any walkthroughs must be done virtually or without the agents present.
- To reduce payments by check, and conduct direct banking instead, Kerri at Stock and Leader will request voided checks or account/routing numbers for Sellers, Buyer’s Agent, and Seller’s Agent, as well as any other vendor.
- If FedEx is required, FedEx to Buyers and Sellers will include closing documents AND a FedEx envelope for documents to be returned to our office after signing.
**Please sign all documents using BLUE ink***
- We are excited to say that several of our in-office Notaries have been approved as Remote Online Notaries (RON)! We will be offering this service in the coming days, subject to the guidelines imposed by Governor Wolf, and any expansions to those guidelines, as may be applicable. * Currently this is only available for residential real estate deals that were “in process” prior to the Order, and for all commercial real estate deals. See here for more information.
- If the parties are unable to print and sign documents via remote online notary, or by printing and obtaining their own notarization, then a party may have to seek out a notary. We encourage following all of the proper protocols for safety and hygiene as recommended by the CDC (washing surfaces, wear gloves, use soap and water or hand sanitizer before and after signing, follow any procedures established or required by the physical location of signing):
- When a Lender is involved, our office will first direct the Buyer to contact that Lender to determine if the Lender will notarize the documents. Some banks offer drive-through Notary, others are willing to schedule limited visits for customers.
- For a Seller, the same applies. Their bank may be willing to notarize their documents.
- OUR OFFICE WILL NOT BE CONDUCTING FACE-TO-FACE BUSINESS WITH ANY CLIENTS WHETHER AT OUR PHYSICAL LOCATION OR ELSEWHERE. WE ARE PROHIBITED BY THE GOVERNOR’S ORDER FROM DOING ANY IN-PERSON SETTLEMENTS OR BUSINESS.
- Sellers and Buyers are encouraged, when possible, to scan and email all documents (or Lender if signing at the Lender’s physical address) back to the Closing Coordinator (or at least the Deed and Mortgage and all documents for recording) and to overnight the originals via the provided FedEx envelope.
- Attorney conducting RON will return acknowledgement page for e-Recording.
- Our staff will e-Record the documents for recording.
- Our office will disburse Sellers proceeds, Commissions, and all other items via wire OR ACH when possible, and will mail out checks otherwise.
- Mortgage package will be overnighted to Lender upon our receipt and 24 hour mail quarantine.
- Our office will email HUD-1 to Agents, and Buyers’ and Sellers’ respective closing documents to Buyers and Sellers.
Our first and utmost concern is for the members of our community and their well-being. Thank you in advance for your assistance and understanding.
**Please note that these procedures are subject to change**
FRAUD ALERT: If you are wiring funds to Stock and Leader, wiring instructions must be confirmed by telephone. Please call our firm. Do not confirm by email.