Ensuring Home Loan Closings in the Age of COVID-19

COVID-19 and the Housing Market

Spring is usually peak time for homebuying. This spring, however, is vastly different due to the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19.

When the U.S. saw its first case in January 2020, nobody was quite sure how it would affect the country. Since then, the economy — both locally and nationally — has halted after more than nine years of economic growth; more than 40 states have declared a stay-at-home order or something similar.

In the midst of a national state of emergency, many are wondering how this will affect the housing market and what the future holds. Continued record low interest rates are driving refinance opportunities and many of the busiest markets in the United States are seeing positive real estate activity.

Challenges of Physical Distancing and Real Estate Activity

Nearly every U.S. state is in a lock down of some variation. Whether it's a shelter in place or a stay-at-home order, society has had to think of new ways to continue business operations and social interaction while maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet.

With finance companies defined as an essential industry, real estate transactions have changed. Appointments previously conducted in person are cancelled or postponed. Realtors have adjusted to open houses via livestreams or video calls.

Despite these challenges, there are ways for the industry to carry on.

Here at Evergreen Home Loans, our digital closings platform allowed us to adapt to the rapidly changing environment and process mortgage transactions in all six states where we operate while following government-mandated physical distancing orders.

Digital closings are a way to process closing documents through an online platform deployed by Evergreen. The portal allows borrowers to access, review and sign a majority of closing documents from their handheld or desktop device. Documents can be accessed from anywhere, eliminating the need for borrowers to leave their home unless critically necessary. In some states, you can even use Remote Online Notarization (RON) - which means you virtually meet with a notary and they apply an electronic notary seal to your documents. This removes the need to meet in-person with a notary for documents that require notarization.

We know it's our duty as an essential business to help our clients continue with their real estate transactions, and digital closings allows this to move forward. No matter where you are, we can help get you home.

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