JJ Team Editor

Finding or selling a house doesn’t always happen according to plan.  With the current real estate market, you could be on vacation or working remotely during a key part of the buying or selling process.  It’s ok, a remote closing, including selling a house remotely or buying a house remotely, happens quite often these days.  Keep reading to learn some tricks of the trade to make it go as smoothly as possible.

Communication is Key with a Remote Closing

Strong communication between the client and the real estate agent is key, especially if the client is going to be out of town.  Be upfront and tell the real estate agent a vacation or remote work is in the works. The two of you can then huddle to discuss your options.  During this conversation, work together to develop a plan for how to handle any queries or issues in your absence.

Traveling When Buying or Selling

Whether you are traveling stateside or overseas, it’s important to know if you will have the following:

  • Internet access to check emails, listings, etc.
  • Cell phone access (text or calls).
  • A time daily to check in with the real estate agent.

If your home will need staging or a handyman to paint a room or fix a faucet, J+J Team Homes will work with you on these details at the outset.  

We Want You to Sell Remotely (Kind Of)

When the house is first put on the market, we encourage sellers to go out of town or rent an airbnb locally for a staycation.  Ninety percent of the showings will occur the first seven – 10 days.  If the seller has vacated the home during this period of time, they won’t have to do the following before each showing: a.) clean, mop and sweep, b.) dishes, c.) squeegee the shower, d.) do or put away laundry, and e.) everything else that makes the home look ready to sell quickly.

When selling a house remotely, utilize the following plan with your real estate agent:  

  • Reach out at a set time on a consistent basis.  The set time is essential especially if the seller is traveling overseas or across time zones.
  • If the seller can’t be reached via the phone, email an update each day.
  • Determine an ideal timeframe to review offers virtually.
    • Seller will sign papers through DocuSign.
  • Alert the buyer’s agents so they are aware the seller is out of town and can respond to offers at a designated time.
    • This helps the buyer’s agents prep the buyer in a proactive manner.

Remote Closings as a Buyer

If buying a house remotely, the closing will require some planning prior to the departure.  This happens a lot more than you think.  The following is a step-by-step plan for hosting a remote closing with a cash buyer:

  1. Notify the lender in advance of out-of-town travel.
  2. Sign as many documents as you can prior to closing (before travel).
  3. If you aren’t in town on the day of the closing and it’s a cash buyer, you can sign papers using DocuSign.
  4. On closing day, after you’ve signed the electronic paperwork, the buyer will call the bank to wire the money to the escrow account.
  5. If it’s a cash deal, the buyer will request a transaction with the bank.  The bank should be notified in advance that they are buying a house remotely so there aren’t any hiccups.

Stateside Closings When a Loan is Required

If the buyer is taking out a loan, the bank requires the loan documents and the grant deed to be notarized. While not a true remote closing, the buyer has to take some extra steps.

  1. If the client is traveling stateside, the real estate agent should find the title company’s affiliate in that location. J+J Team Homes coordinates with the affiliate title company in that area in advance.  For example, if you will be in the Hamptons, we’d work with the title company to find out their affiliate in New York. a. Establish a contact at that office.  b. The notarized signing is done at their office or the place you are staying on vacation.  This should be arranged in advance.

Utilizing a Power of Attorney for an Overseas Closing 

An overseas remote closing for the buyer or seller is a bit more complicated, but still possible.  This type of closing requires a lot of legwork in advance because the paperwork would need to be notarized by a U.S. Notary while overseas.  In order to do this, the buyer needs to go to a U.S. Consulate overseas to have it notarized.  This could take all day. And then the papers will need to be overnighted back and forth.

Many times homes are sold or bought with a quick timeline. One of the parties may have plans to be out of the country after an offer is accepted. In this case, it is recommended the client work with the title company to prepare for a power of attorney locally in the Bay Area.  The power of attorney can be a spouse or someone else close to them. The designee will sign the paperwork if there is a short escrow.  

It is important to have all the dates and a plan that the lender and all parties involved agree to in advance.  Planning ahead cuts down on any complications.

Bottom line, with ideal communication ahead of time, selling a house remotely or buying a house remotely, is just as simple as doing it locally.

Thank you for reading J+J Team Homes Blog

Keep checking back in with us.  If you have any questions or a topic you’d be interested in learning more about – leave us a comment below, on our social media, or reach out. Even if you aren’t in the market, we’d love it if you’d pass along our information to those who are on the lookout.

J+J Team Homes Properties