For the longest time, any engagements with notaries demanded face to face meetings. What this meant is that if you wanted to buy a house fast enough, your physical availability and that of the notaries would be the determining factor of how fast that happened. Even upon the advent of digital signatures, the presence of both the person doing the real estate transaction of whatever nature and that of notaries was paramount. This was until Remote Online Notarization was accepted as an alternative to physical meetings.
Remote Online Notarization refers to carrying out notarization over an audio-visual platform. Just like in all other industries, the Internet of Things is transforming the way things are conducted and when it comes to real estate, it is a whole revolution.
Real Estate and RON
In the past, you had to set a significant amount of time apart to meet up with the notaries if you wanted to close a real estate deal or buy a house. A lot of times this meant having to travel in order to be physically present for a meeting that had to be scheduled up to weeks in advance. RON is now changing things, making Notarization real-time, and at your own convenience.
When it comes to costs, once RON is fully adopted, it is going to save millions of shillings otherwise injected into the physical notarization procedures. Think of the thousands of dollars in fuel as both parties travel to the central meeting point. Think of the costs of sending documents back and forth, and worse if there are mistakes of any sort.
With RON, mistakes are sorted as they arise, and it makes it even easier to spot any such mistakes. More and more people are preferring RON over physical notaries because it is secure. The audiovisual material can be recorded and sent to both parties for safekeeping.
RON and Security
If legal processes ever arise, such material can be produced in court to help with the processes as they are admissible in court. It gives both parties a great sense of security knowing that a recording of the transaction exists and will be a backup. Still, on security, physical documents can be very misleading and are subject to fraud. It might be hard to recognize the people from pictures they took a long time ago, for instance. Audiovisual material captures both parties as they are, from their physical appearance to their voices. On top of this, there is enough digital footprint to verify the information that is given during a transaction.
Remote notarization companies have unveiled a system in which they are third parties to the transaction, and act as online witnesses to the transactions carried out over their platforms. They also verify the identities of the parties, as they have been allowed access to the government database. They can not only ascertain the identity of the people but can if need be check things such as criminal records.
The one aspect of notarization that is not discussed enough is the security of the notaries. In some extreme cases, they may be forced into transactions they do not want to take part in, and this is not just the notaries but the parties involved. Physical presence makes coercion very simple, but audiovisual platforms give every individual a sense of security and the assurance that they can always drop out of the transaction whenever they feel it is not going their way. After all, nobody has to know your physical location at the time of the transaction.
The mortgage process is a daunting one, without the requisite physical meetings. RON is not only shortening this process but saving everyone involved a lot of money while at it. If the notarization can be done online, this means agreements can be reached faster to the convenience of both then lending firms and the people looking to buy homes. Lending firms are also spending less when they adopt digital strategies to replace physical procedures.
So far, around 23 states allow Remote Online Notarization. The COVID 19 pandemic which was occasioned by restrictions in the movement has revealed the need for states to expedite the process of other states allowing for RON. RON is bringing a future where the entire home buying process can be done online much closer than we could ever imagine, and if implemented this is going to be a huge boon for real estate.