As a real estate investor, there may eventually come a time when you need to utilize a mail-away closing. Whether the property is out of town, the buyer or seller is in another area or state, you're away on vacation, or you're practicing remote investing, mail-away closings allow you to buy or sell real estate remotely. Learn what a mail-away closing is, how it works, and when a remote closing makes sense.
What is a mail-away closing?
Unlike a traditional closing where the buyer, seller, and occasionally real estate agent will meet at the title company or attorney's office to sign the closing documents, a mail-away closing allows the buyer and seller to sign and notarize the final closing paperwork remotely, returning the documents by mail. The title agent will review the paperwork for accuracy and completeness before sending the closing proceeds to the proper parties by check or wire transfer.
How mail-away closings work
While the closing process, in general, is fairly straightforward, the documentation that is needed for a closing will depend on the specific transaction and can change if a lender or loan is involved or if it's a cash closing. Local and state laws will also dictate small variances in the paperwork such as the number of witnesses needed on the deed, if any. But most closing paperwork will include or require:
- Settlement statement.
- Closing disclosures and affidavits.
- Loan documents (if applicable).
- Copy of executed title insurance.
- Copy of driver's license of all signing parties.
- Copy of the company's operating agreement if the selling or buying party is a company.
Some closing agents will work with a designated mobile notary service while others allow the buyer and seller to use the notary of their choice.
Once documents are signed, they are returned with a prepaid shipping label typically provided by the closing attorney or agent in the closing package. If you're buying a property, it's important to have the funds wired to the escrow account prior to the closing date. If you're receiving funds as a part of the closing proceeds, the closing package will most likely include a proceeds authorization form. If electing a wire deposit, include a voided check linked to the account you want to receive the funds. The funds will be released to the parties on the closing date.