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Posts Tagged ‘closing’

Keeping Everyone Safe and Healthy

We are excited to help you with your real estate transaction!  Or mission and passion is to make the closing process easier, smoother, and less stressful — even in a pandemic. We have taken many precautions to keep you and our team safe and healthy.

Closing Procedures:

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Closing Room or Drive-Up Closing:  You can sign your documents in our closing room or from your car as a “drive-up closing.”We will be limiting our closing rooms to 6 people to assure social distancing.

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Call When You Arrive:  When you arrive, wait in your car or outside and call us at 608-467-4600 to let us know you are here.  We will either bring documents to you or let you know when your closing room is ready.

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Masks: We require all clients and customers to wear masks in our office. We can provide masks to those who don’t have their own. For those uncomfortable or unwilling to wear a mask, we offer drive-in closings.

We will be sanitizing all surfaces frequently and offering hand sanitizer and wipes. We will not be offering food, beverages, or reading materials.

We are following state and local health guidelines to protect you and our team. We appreciate your understanding, even if you don’t agree with our level of precautions.

Covid-19 Agreement:

Please do not come to closing if you have any symptoms or risks associated with Covid-19.  We can make alternative, remote signing arrangements.  Do not come to closing if:

  1. You have had a cough, flu symptoms, or fever higher than 100 in the last 14 days.
  2. You have been around anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 14 days.
  3. You are living with anyone who has been quarantined in the last 14 days.
  4. You or anyone in your household has tested positive for Covid-19 and have had any symptoms in the last 14 days.

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State of Wisconsin Accidentally Releases Social Security Numbers

Many Wisconsin residents who sold their homes last year are receiving ominous looking letters from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR). The letters warn that the DOR is “taking precautions to protect confidential information pertaining to your 2011 real estate sale.” Specifically, the state inadvertently included social security numbers in sales data that is routinely posted on their website. This data is intended for use by appraisers and Realtors to track property sales and values. The information remained on the site from April 5 through July 23, 2012 and only related to 2011 real estate sales.

The data was included in an embedded file (it was not readily apparent or readable) and was only downloaded 138 times. The State insists that there is no sign that criminals accessed the information. “We have a responsibility to protect the sellers who had their personal information included in the report, and we have reached out to the real estate and appraiser organizations to contact their members to destroy the file. We know the individuals who downloaded this file are using it for their own business purposes and have no malicious intent, yet we will be offering free credit monitoring for a year for the individuals who may have been impacted by this situation,” said Secretary Richard G. Chandler.

The DOR has been mailing letters to sellers that may have been impacted and offering them one year of free credit monitoring. Sellers can also contact the DOR directly at 888-947-3452 or realestate@wisconsin.gov.

For more information, see:

http://www.revenue.wi.gov/news/20120724_01.pdf

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Sometimes the best way to avoid a closing nightmare is to simply choose the right title company. We recently met with one of our vendors to discuss how they could help our business and the salesperson shared a story about her closing at one of our competitors.

Just Sign HERE!

Joan and her husband (not their real names) had signed an offer to purchase and arrived at the title company with a mixture of excitement and nerves. Soon the emotions turned entirely to stress and nerves. The closing officer simply asked Joan to “sign and date here… sign and date here” without any explanation for each document. Joan became increasingly uncomfortable, feeling like she was signing her life away on documents she did not fully understand. She asked to call her attorney and the closing officer became huffy and irritated. Joan began to cry. This is when the unbelievable happened – the closing officer slammed the documents on the table, barked at Joan “fine, call your attorney!” and stormed out of the room.

Empathy, Insight, and Care

Providing incredible service as a title company means so much more than simply not making mistakes, quickly finishing a closing, or handling a large volume of transactions. Those are minimum standards. Great service requires that everyone involved understand the anxiety, high stress, and emotions of buyers and sellers. Attention to detail, accuracy, and efficiency are core competencies of a good title company. But empathy, compassion, and understanding of buyers, sellers, and the professionals they work with are what set Homestead Title apart. We don’t deal in “transactions.” Rather we help guide buyers and sellers through some of the most stressful moments of their lives by offering guidance, understanding, and a hands-on touch.

I’ll Never Buy a House Again!

The last thing Joan said to us after conveying this nightmare story really struck a chord – “I told my husband ‘I’ll never buy a house again!'” Her experience at the closing didn’t turn her off to that title company. She felt as if the whole process was distasteful and to be avoided. This should not come as a surprise. The closing is the last thing to happen and leaves lasting memories. Be sure to choose wisely when ordering title insurance. As a lender, attorney or Realtor, your choice of title companies reflects upon you. For hands-on, empathetic, caring service, choose Homestead Title. We will reflect well upon you.

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