The Deed is In The Mail!

Thursday, May 05, 2016 by Aryeh Lazarus, Esq.


In conference rooms, offices, and even living rooms around the country, the closing table is a place where much is at stake.   Payoffs, per diems, and a myriad of other matters may be hashed out among the buyer seller, and lender, all sitting at the same table.

The stakes are greater when the parties are potentially thousands of miles apart, yet expect closing to be completed with the same ease and efficiencies.   How is it possible?  

The closing dichotomy:  There are two main types of real estate closings- the “New York style,” sit down closing and the “mail away” or escrow closing.

The “sit down” or NY style closing is more familiar to real estate folks in the Northeast.  Typically, these closing occur as per its namesake; a closing where all parties are present in a room and finalize all the details of the deals before signing all final documents and shaking hands.

The mail away or escrow closing is typically utilized across the country where the parties are may never even meet.   A mail away closing is essentially performed on the desk of the Closing or Settlement Agent.   The parties will deposit with the Closing Agent by mail all executed documents which are required for closing.  All funds required for closing will similarly be “wired” into the Agent’s account.   The Agent will compile the signatures in its own office and only release documents and funds upon authorization to “close and break escrow.”  All communication is handled telephonically, or via email.   

Of course, the Agent’s ability to anticipate the schedules of the parties and the time-constraints of the mail is paramount.  Communication is key.  Is the jurisdiction a race-notice state?  Is Gap coverage available?  These are questions which must be addressed in advance in order to facilitate a successful closing.

All too often, the parties expect to close but fail to appreciate the need to have documents executed and delivered in advance.   Deeds, Mortgages and Affidavits all must be “in escrow” in order to close.  The Escrow Agent is charged with the responsibility to be certain that all parties- Seller, Lender and Purchaser- deposit all original documents in advance of closing.   It is very helpful to have a an experienced title agent who is well versed in performing mailaway closings and making sure everyone's on the same page, facilitate communication and making sure the closing goes smoothly.

Riverside Abstract National Department has performed thousands of national transactions and the depth of our experience and the skill of our attorneys is a huge asset in ensuring that the deal closes as desired.

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