There are many changes happening in the world of real estate closings right now. Through everything the FNF Family of Companies offer, our title and closing agents have the tools and resources needed to best serve homeowners in every way. 

A big change in the real estate world is the adoption of more digital options for your real estate closing. One of the tech-heavy options for buyers and sellers like you is the use of Remote Online Notarization. At the most basic level, this type of closing allows your transaction to be finalized using a webcam and a secure internet connection. Like its name suggests, the parties involved in the deal do not have to be in the same room for the closing to be completed.        

RON, as it’s known in the industry, is not a new development – multiple states have been passing laws approving its use in recent years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely brought the topic to the forefront as title and closing companies throughout the country work to find innovative ways to make sure homeowners like you can still close real estate transactions safely during the era of social distancing. 

As your closing company’s trusted title insurance underwriter, we’re helping many of our title and closing agents use – or at least start exploring how to use RON – all the time. However, the FNF team hopes a blog like this helps answer some general questions prospective homebuyers (and sellers) may have about RON. We have adopted a specific process our title and closing agents must follow and a list of vetted tech vendors for them to use, so that your transaction is kept secure and valid. Keeping you and your money protected is everyone’s No. 1 priority.  

It is important to note legislation allowing for the use of RON can and does vary state by state, and not every transaction is a candidate for a remote notarization closing. We recommend that you contact a local FNF title and closing agent with specific questions. But to conduct a RON transaction, there must be a secure audio/video connection established first. This can be done using a computer that includes a webcam and a microphone using a high-speed internet connection. The latter is needed because the feed cannot be interrupted any time during the electronic signing process. While it may sound as easy as jumping on Skype or Zoom – and while in some ways it is – we use specific technology tools designed just for the remote notarization process that ensure a more secure and confidential process.

So how does the RON process look with your FNF-supported title and closing officer?  

  • You’ll answer some personal questions through a Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) system. These will be questions generated from information from public records or credit bureaus. (For example; you may be asked to choose from a list of previous addresses, or how much your car payment is)
  • Just like an in-person Notarization, you will need your driver’s license or other government ID, which will be viewed and scanned. So be sure to have the valid identification within reach before your RON closing starts!
  • You will sign documents using an e-signature by clicking on the documents where you wish to sign.  

A RON transaction is a safe and secure option for parties who can’t be in the same room. However, it is just one of the closing options buyers and sellers who use an FNF title and closing agent have available to them right now.  Title and closing companies all over the country have adapted in great ways to meet customer and consumer needs during this time. From extra cleaning measures and limiting who can attend an in-person closing to curbside and drive-thru options to learning all about RON (in those legislatively approved states), your title and closing agent will help find the best option for you and your transaction. 

Just like our title and closing agents can lean on us for what they need, consumers can always trust that a title and closing agent underwritten by a FNF Family company is working for them!

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