COVID-19 Update

We know many of you have already heard that Governor Kemp recently signed a temporary order allowing for “video closings”. Specifically, the order allows for legal closing documents to be executed (both witnessed and notarized) without the signor being in the physical presence of the witness or the notary. This temporary order is just that, it is temporary, and it will not be a permanent change to the overall closing process. It was simply designed to enable real estate transactions to continue to occur while our state and our communities adhere to recommendations in place designed to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All parties participating in a video conference for the purpose of a Real Estate Transaction/Closing (i.e. the Buyer, the Seller, or Notary Public) must be physically present in the State of Georgia at the time of the conference.

The order does not permit electronic signatures/e-signing. All documents that will be sent for recording (Warranty Deeds, Security Deeds, etc.) and some documents specific to certain lenders will still require a wet ink signature regardless of the manner in which they were executed. If a video conference is utilized the documents will need to be sent out in advance of the closing or will need to be printed by the borrower(s) and then must be returned to the attorney’s office for witnessing, notarization and ultimate recordation with the relative county office.

At this time we know of several things that we must consider before embarking on video conference closings. Lenders and title insurance companies will all have their own requirements and if experience has taught us anything it is that these requirements will not be uniform. We are already getting reports of large lenders not allowing closings to transpire via video conference in the state of Georgia. We anticipate hearing more specifics from our lender partners in the coming days. Title insurers are requesting that we utilize certain video conferencing applications as opposed to others and some are asking for us to record and catalog each of these closings to serve as evidence of the closing should the need arise.

We will need the following to conduct a remote video conferenced closing:

  • We must have lender approval
  • All documents signed during the video conferenced closing must be placed in an overnight envelope and must be sealed during the video conference (along with a valid copy of their government issued photo ID).
  • All Signers must be physically present in the State of Georgia to qualify
  • Signers must be able to print documents in both letter and legal style print (15-20 pages are typical for Sellers & 80-120 for Borrowers) in preparation for the remote video conferenced closing. Alternatively, documents can be picked up from one of our offices prior to closing or when possible sent out to the signer via UPS for an additional fee
  • We must have all original signed documents back in our possession before we will be able to fund the closing

Let’s keep in mind that every closing will be different and we will commit to communicating as much as possible as we approach the closing. Your patience and understanding that we are in unchartered waters will be key to everyone’s success!

We recognize that this will be a great solution for high risk individuals and for individuals who for whatever reason cannot attend the closing during this time. Wherever possible we strongly encourage traditional closings and have made many accommodations to ensure the safety of those who enter our offices.

Perrie & Associates is currently taking the following steps to achieve that goal:

  • We are now scheduling our closings differently to allow time for the Buyer/Borrower and Seller to not be present at the same time
  • We are ensuring all doors are propped open upon entry into our offices
  • We are providing one time use pens, and gloves to all attendees and team members
  • We are regularly cleaning our conference rooms and all surfaces in our offices that attendees come in contact with throughout the day and in between each closing
  • We are offering a secure upload link for closing attendees to provide ID to us prior to closing
  • We are offering curbside closings when requested and travel closings to the home of the closing party at no additional cost

We are happy to answer any questions you might have and I hope you will feel free to reach out to me directly with any concerns.

David S. Perrie

100 Galleria Parkway, Suite 1170
Atlanta, GA 30339
Office: (770) 579-2700