Business operations across many industries are changing rapidly in response to the Coronavirus. If you are in the process of buying or selling a home, you may be wondering how this impacts those transactions in process. Here’s what you should know about Coronavirus and real estate closings in MA.
Lenders Are Still Working
Most lenders are continuing to work and process loans, although their staff are doing so remotely. Additional processing times may be needed in some cases, but loans are continuing to move forward. You may continue to communicate with your lender via phone and/or email. Your prompt response to their questions will allow your loan to move forward more quickly. Additionally, you may be asked to sign certain documents digitally. Again, please do so promptly to avoid delays.
Real Estate Closings
Closing attorneys may be handling physical closings a bit differently. For instance, you may be screened with travel and illness questions prior to visiting a closing location. Additionally, buyers and sellers may be asked to sign separately rather than together in one room. Using hand sanitizer upon arriving and leaving a closing location are also common protocol. Sellers may opt to have their attorney sign documents on their behalf. Some buyers and sellers are even signing documents in their cars, with their attorneys on a phone or video call to explain documents. These are just some examples of precautions put in place amid Coronavirus concerns.
Recording of Sales
One significant change for Coronavirus and real estate closings in MA is the actual recording of closings. Most Registry of Deeds offices in Massachusetts are closed to visitors. Thus, closing documents must be submitted either electronically or via US mail. Given the delay of processing those submitted via mail, be sure to confirm that your closing attorney has access to e-recording at the local registry of deeds. This will help avoid delays in funding and transfer of keys.
Concerned About Coronavirus and Real Estate Closings in MA?
If you have specific concerns about coronavirus and real estate closings in MA for your upcoming home sale or home purchase, contact your closing attorney. By knowing what to expect for your upcoming closing, you can better plan for moving and other logistics. Additionally, should delays be necessary, try to be patient and accommodating as everyone works to achieve the same goals amid the restrictions and delays resulting from Coronavirus.
Update: March 23, 2020
Given the Governor’s order today for all non-essential businesses to close and stay-at-home advisory, delays are expected in real estate closings. Please contact your lender and closing attorney regarding the impact to upcoming closings. We are all looking for creative ways to conduct business amidst these unusual circumstances.