Real Estate Notary: A Guide for Buyers and Sellers

November 11, 2023

The world of real estate is going through big changes. Instead of only in-person meetings and paper trails, the industry is using more digital options. In fact, many people now like digital options like video tours. This indicates a shift towards conducting more real estate business remotely. While the shift is evident, the primary reason is the unmatched convenience it offers to both buyers and sellers.

How Remote House Closings Are More Convenient

One of the key parts of remote house closings is the real estate notary. Notaries play an important role in making sure remote closings are legally valid. They do this by verifying who people are and watching them sign documents.

By using online notarization (RON), buyers and sellers can close on a home without meeting in person. This saves time and money. It's especially convenient for people who live in different states or can't travel due to work or personal reasons.

As real estate keeps going digital, remote closings and notaries will play a bigger role. They will help make the process more convenient and efficient for everyone involved.

Specifically, remote closings offer several big conveniences:

  • No location limits: People can finish closings remotely from anywhere with internet instead of having to be in one place. This gives more flexibility.
  • Time savings: Remote closings avoid commute time and trying to match up schedules. Documents can be reviewed ahead rather than reading on the spot.
  • Lower costs: Remote closings skip the travel costs of in-person closings. E-documents also reduce paper and shipping expenses.
  • Peace of mind: Closing from home provides comfort, especially for buyers worried about COVID-19 risk.
  • Faster closings: Remote closings often occur more quickly since documents are electronic. This speeds up the process.
  • Better security: Identity verification technology and data encryption provide security. This reduces risks from paper documents.

With these advantages, it’s no wonder more real estate companies are making remote capabilities a priority. They want to better serve buyers and sellers today. The convenience simply can’t be matched.

Here is a breakdown of the top 5 states for remote real estate closings:

Different Models of Digital Real Estate Closings

Having explored the convenience, let's now delve into the models facilitating this digital transformation:

  • In-person e-notarization (IPEN)

With in-person electronic notarization, or IPEN, the people signing documents need to be with the notary in person. This is so the notary can check their IDs and watch them sign the documents electronically. But the rest of the documents are still transferred and signed electronically, saving time and paper. Once signed, documents instantly get a digital notary stamp and signature.

IPEN provides more security than fully remote closings by letting the notary visually check IDs. However, scheduling issues and location limits still apply. Overall, it's a middle ground between old-fashioned paper closings and fully remote processes.

  • Hybrid eClosing

As the name suggests, hybrid e-closings blend digital and in-person parts. Some documents are e-signed remotely. Others needing notarization or original copies are handled in person.

This allows flexibility to separate the closing tasks. Non-essential documents go digital to maximize convenience. Key parts like notarizations and financial transactions needing more security happen in person. Hybrid closings mitigate, but do not entirely eliminate, location and schedule challenges.

  • Remote Online Notarization (RON)

With online notarization, also called RON, you can complete the entire closing process remotely. You use digital platforms to verify IDs, share documents, and e-sign. People join a video chat with the notary. On the video, they show their IDs and sign the documents live.

RON platforms also employ quizzes, multi-step logins, and timestamping to enhance security. Once everything is done, the documents get a digital notary seal right away. RON makes fully online closings really flexible and convenient.

Data is very powerful in this digital change. Real estate agents aren't just going online. They're also using data analytics. This helps them understand buyer behavior better. It also speeds up the sales cycle.

Pros and Cons of Remote House Closings

Pros: Cons:
  • Increased safety with less in-person contact
  • Reliance on tech and internet connection
  • More efficiency through paperless workflows
  • Legal roadblocks in some states
  • More time to review documents before signing
  • Lack of in-person guidance from real estate pros
  • Ability to close at any time and from any location
  • Lower barriers for scammers

The digital shift is completely changing real estate from the bottom up. Digitization is setting new standards for how real estate deals happen. It's improving efficiency, strengthening security, and making information more available.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the main benefits of remote real estate closings?

Remote closings offer more convenience, speed, and flexibility. People can complete the process electronically from anywhere, anytime. They don't need to match up schedules or be there in person. This also gives more time to review documents.

2. How does remote notarization work?

With remote notarization, the notary verifies identities and watches people e-sign documents through a secure video call. Some platforms may require passing identity quizzes. Then the documents get digitally notarized.

3. Is remote online notarization legal where I live?

Rules vary by state. Be sure to check your state's specific laws to make sure remote closings follow all legal requirements. Many states now allow remote notarization.

4. How safe and secure is the remote closing process?

Top remote closing platforms use encryption, multi-step login, ID verification, and e-signatures to keep the process secure. But caution is still needed as real estate scams can happen.

5. What if the technology fails during a remote closing?

Reputable platforms will have backup plans, like the ability to resume after connectivity is restored. For hybrid closings, documents needing in-person signatures can be handled separately. As a precaution, review all documents in advance.


The move to digital in real estate will totally change how home closings happen. There are some challenges with this change. However, the convenience and security of things like online notarization are very beneficial. These digital tools are must-haves today.

It is crucial for anyone buying or selling homes to understand these new digital changes. It helps you navigate how real estate works in the modern world.

While going digital takes some getting used to, the benefits make it worthwhile. As real estate keeps evolving, services that create faster, easier closings will only get more popular. The future of real estate lies in the digital realm.


Urban Splatter

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