Texas was one of the first states in the nation to allow virtual or online real estate closings, and social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic have driven more consumers to choose a virtual closing. But virtual closings can take many different forms, depending on what title company and lender your clients are working with.

Sarah Lee Schroeder, an escrow officer with Rise Title of Texas, says your clients should get answers to these questions to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Does the Lender Allow Online Notaries?

Not all lenders allow online notary services. And those that do might only be able to use certain approved services.

What Will the Notary Require?

All signers should confirm what the notary service will require. That could include a phone, computer, webcam, speakers, microphone, high-speed internet, or other technology.

Will it Be Fully Online or Hybrid?

Some lenders allow fully online closings, where all documents can be signed or notarized remotely. Other lenders allow some documents to be signed electronically but require documents that must be notarized to be signed in person.