Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Twenty-Five years ago, Michael Jordan announced his return to the NBA with two words: “I’m Back.” Homestead Title doesn’t pretend to be as exciting as MJ and our return to the closing room is not as dramatic. But, we are excited to announce: We’re Back. We will return to the closing room with a larger in-office staff during the last week of May.

Phased Re-entry

Our return to the closing room will be cautious, safe, and gradual. Here’s our timeline and plan.


Wednesday May 27, 2020: Customers have the option to close in their car by “Drive-in” or in the closing room. All closings will be at our West office this week as we gradually return to full staff.

Monday, June 1, 2020: Customers can choose to close in their cars or in either our West or Monona offices.

With health and safety concerns and child care challenges, we anticipate many requests for “Drive-In” closings and will continue to offer this as an option for the foreseeable future.

Closing Procedures:

All parties will be offered the option to close in the safety of their cars, in our closing room, or from home as a mail away or digital closing (when available).

Closings in our office will be a little different, with adjustments to keep you and our team safe and healthy:

  • Limits on the Number of People: We will limit our waiting room and closing rooms to 6 people.
    • We’ve reorganized seating to accommodate social distancing.
    • We may need to have Buyers and Sellers sign separately (within the same 1 hour block)
    • Realtors and Lenders may not be able to be in the room (they are welcome to wait in one of our waiting areas or outside)
  • Masks or Face Coverings are required in our closing room. We recognize that this may feel uncomfortable or even unfair to some people.
    • Just as restaurants don’t allow patrons without shoes, many businesses are moving to a policy of “no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service.”
    • If someone is uncomfortable with a mask, we can still accommodate a Drive-in closing.
  • Food and Beverages: We will not be offering food, coffee, or self-serve beverages. We may offer soda in unopened cans by request.
  • Hand Sanitizer: There will be LOTS of hand sanitizer. We urge everyone to use hand sanitizer early and often during closings.
  • Cleaning: We will be wiping down surfaces throughout the day and after every closing.

Buying and Selling (even refinancing) a home can be incredibly stressful. Our mission and passion is to reduce that stress while making the process easy, smooth, and fun. That includes making people feel healthy, safe, and comfortable.

Read Full Post »

Imagine signing all of your closing documents for the purchase or your house from the comfort of your couch.  Digital closings are coming and this could soon be a reality.

What is a Digital Closing?

A digital closing is a broad term that can include a number of differedigitalnt scenarios, ranging from the review and signing of a few documents on a computer or tablet to signing all documents remotely on a computer. A digital closing simply means a closing where at least some documents are signed electronically.  There are 3, broad categories of digital closings:

Hybrid Closing:  Some documents are signed electronically while others are signed on paper. This typically occurs in person, at the title company, and may include a traditional notarization or an electronic notarization.

Fully Electronic Closing:  All documents are signed electronically, including the use of in-person electronic notary.  The closing occurs in-person, usually at the title company.

Remote Electronic Closing:  The entire closing occurs remotely, via video, with a remote online notary (RON).

So, when can we do an electronic closing?  Some Hybrid closings are already happening. But, there are still challenges before the industry can implement more extensive use of electronic or remote electronic closings. These challenges include technology of lenders, title companies, and consumers; security and privacy concerns; and the interaction of state and federal laws.

Homestead Title recently participated in the American Land Title Association and Mortgage Banker’s Association’s Digital Closing Boot Camp.  Our take away: Digital closings are coming, but not tomorrow and not in a tidal wave.  Digital closings will soon become another tool in our tool box, giving consumers more options. Remote Electronic Closings are a more distant reality in Wisconsin.  Most importantly, we learned that Homestead Title is more prepared than most in the industry.

Look for more information about digital closings and options to make the closing experience easier, smoother, and more convenient.


Read Full Post »