Real estate transactions are about to change

Real Estate Transactions are About to Change: Remote Online Notarization

15 Sep, 2020

Believe it or not, prior to COVID-19, the idea of remote online notarization (RON) was becoming a hot topic. In fact, for the state of Maryland, RON legislation was passed in April, 2019, bringing an upgrade to the notarial law. Twenty-two other states have already passed RON laws, and with the COVID-19 era in full effect the idea of e-transactions and online notary services is becoming a must. Real estate transactions are about to change. Lenders, realtors, title companies and investors need to gear up to begin using RON to complete their transactions.

What is Remote Online Notarization?

RON is the future of real estate transactions. It’s a way to complete real estate closings electronically without the need of any in-person interaction or documents. According to Qualia, a leading platform provider that supports RON technologies, “RON occurs when documents are signed and notarized in an electronic form. The signer uses an electronic signature and appears before the remote notary using online audio-visual technology.”

Before RON Versus After RON

  • Before RON

A typical settlement takes place in-person. The home buyers, sellers, and real estate agents meet at the title company’s office. They have their photo identification ready, and sign the necessary legal documents in front of a notary public. After signing their documents, the title company and notary handle sending in the documentation to the necessary legal parties and the transaction is recorded and complete.

  • After RON

RON transactions are made up of three components: electronic signatures, notarizations and audio-visual technology. With RON, all parties involved never have to meet in person and can safely and securely finalize their real estate transaction.

  1. They sit down in front of their computer or phone.
  2. They connect to the Internet and an audio-visual platform.
  3. They e-sign their documents and the transaction is complete!

Embracing RON the Right Way

With real estate transactions about to change, most title companies, such as Velocity Title, will make the RON closing process easy by using their RON registered notaries, and providing clients with the necessary log-in information for the date of the transaction. Once implemented, Velocity Title will also meet the strictest RON requirements outlined by the State of Maryland and other jurisdictions where they perform settlements. Here are the typical requirements and conditions that must be met for a RON transaction:

  • The notary will be physically present and licensed in the state of the property.
  • The RON technology platform must offer multi-factor authentication and knowledge-based identification to verify the identity of the signers.
  • The RON platform must have the ability to scan a government issued ID for the notary to verify the identity of the signer and the validity of their ID.
  • Documents must be digitally stamped and tamper-sealed to prevent interference with authenticity and security of the notarial ceremony.
  • The notary must keep a video recording as well as an electronic journal as backup files of the notarial ceremony. These must be kept for a period specified by the state law (if not specified, the standard is 7 years).

Velocity Title understands the importance of exceeding our clients’ expectations—even in the midst of a pandemic. Velocity’s Co-Founder/Owner, G. Russell Donaldson, Esq., states:

“If nothing else, the COVID pandemic has accelerated the technology evolution in the real estate and title industry. Fully digital settlements are around the corner and RON settlements are a big step in the right direction. Using online technology, remote notaries can digitally meet with borrowers and perform the notary services for closings remotely. This of course is cost saving and provides the utmost convenience to borrowers, lenders and title companies alike. Using RON services, the real estate and title industry is moving into the 21st century and at Velocity Title we will be embracing this evolution.”

To learn more about RON services, and what’s to come in the real estate industry, please contact us today.




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