By BECKY GILLETTE
While buying new property can be an exhilarating experience that may come after years of saving and dreaming, the closing process of shuffling and signing dozens of papers with leagues of fine print can be time consuming and annoying. Courtney Robbins, attorney with Luckett Land Title, said her company has championed the idea of making real estate closings faster and more convenient than ever through a concept called eClose.
“While buying a new home can be an exciting experience, the long, drawn out closing process can be tedious and time consuming,” Robbins said. “For the past eight months I have advocated for a new more technologically advanced title closing process known as eClosings. With the blessing of Luckett CEO R. Cratin Luckett, Jr., I set off on the adventure to bring eClosings to Mississippi. It takes the closing from 60 minutes to around 15 minutes, and it allows the buyer to digitally sign the majority of the documents.”
Luckett Title held an event in April to announce they were ready to eClose and had their first two eClosings in May. Robbins said the progress shows the two lenders and one title company decided to put the consumer first and make it a celebration instead of a dreaded task in the home purchase process.
“It shows that we are changing the way we do business in Mississippi for the better,” she said.
Robbins recently worked with home buyers from two different lending companies who successfully became the first known people in the state to have an eClosing. An eClosing completes the closing process by electronically executing some or all of the loan closing documents in a virtual closing room.
In Mississippi, state law requires that all parties must wet sign all notarized documents. But the hybrid eClosing still cuts down on a lot of paper shuffling. This type of eClose is known as a hybrid closing.
Robbins conducted extensive research, attended various conferences, and trained on various new digital platforms. She feels this is a step forward making the home buying process more efficient and streamlined.
“I’m am so proud that we just recently achieved our goal of performing the first eClosing in the State of Mississippi,” Robbins said. “The eClosing movement is full-force in our country, and I didn’t want Mississippi to be left out. I championed this because of the convenience, efficiency, and truly modern feel. I love that the clients get to review final closing documents prior to the closing at their own pace and ask questions before they get to the closing table. At the end of the day, we want to celebrate the purchase of a new home. eClosings remove the stress from a long drawn out closing and places the focus back on the exciting milestone of home ownership.”
The first two home buyers to have an eClosing were Tiffany and Todd Easterday of Pearl. Their lender, Sean Cornwell, top producing loan originator lender with Red Rock Mortgage, said eClosings are the next progression for the paperless world we have moved into.
“The days of hour-long closings will soon be behind us,” Cornwell said. “Shorter closings will allow for more closings to occur during the day and that will help, especially, at the end of the month when closings pile up. Those that do not get on this train will end up being left behind at some point. We are excited that we were a part of the very first eClosing in Mississippi. I have always looked to align our company with what is coming next so that we are always able to offer what is best and most efficient for our borrowers. All aboard for eClosings.”
Trevor Lieske and Lauren Jordan were the second home buyers to have an eClosing in Mississippi. Lieske said the closing was super easy and convenient especially since she was working in Jackson and he was in Memphis, Tenn. Liekse said they could review documents and ask questions through the system before the closing.
“It made it easier to sign documents,” Lieske said. “The whole process was maybe 15 minutes. We’re excited new homeowners.”
“And no hand cramps,” Jordan said.
Their lender, Robert Richard, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., said he liked the borrower having the opportunity ahead of time to review the closing documents and also having the ability to ask questions through the virtual closing room before the actual closing day from both the lender and the title company.
“That way, the closing is a celebration,” Richard said. “It empowered the buyer, increased efficiency and gave my clients a great level of customer satisfaction.”
Robbins said she expects three more eClosings this month. “It just shows we are moving in the right direction,” she said.
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