COVID-19 VIRUS

In light of the declared state of emergency arising from the Coronavirus pandemic, below you will find some helpful guidelines with respect to conducting settlements. We have instituted some common sense guidelines to conform to recommended social distance procedures and offer the following options to conduct settlement:

 

  1. Who should attend: Only parties who actually are required to sign settlement documents will be physically allowed to attend the closing. We are happy to allow access to the closing remotely for agents representing the parties and other interested personnel.

  2. When should parties attend: We require buyers and sellers to schedule their signing at different times to maintain social distance.  Sellers may sign documents prior to or on the closing date.  Buyers must sign on the actual date of closing.

  3. Identification: We are requesting signers to text (preferred) or email a photograph of their valid government issued picture ID that they intend to present at settlement to prove their identity prior to settlement.

  4. Pens: We will provide a new wiped down blue ink pen to signers (which they will keep after using) or ask that signers bring a blue ink pen with them to settlement.

  5. Gloves and Masks: Our attorneys and settlement officers will wear a mask and gloves at settlement and we request signers to do the same.

  6. Disinfected Conference Rooms: Signers may execute documents in our office conference rooms (some of which have a glass divider), which are professionally cleaned nightly and carefully wiped/sanitized down after each settlement.

  7. Outdoor/Curbside Settlements: Upon request, we are able to conduct closings outdoors  (weather permitting) at our Chevy Chase and Kentlands locations, either under an open tent/cover or  in our parking garage allowing the signers to remain in their vehicle.  Our attorney/settlement officer will remain outside the vehicle for Notary purposes and to answer questions.

  8. Electronic Signature and Notary:  We do have the capability of conducting Remote Online Notary (RON) transactions for some Sellers and Cash Purchasers at this time. (Please contact our office to determine eligibility.) Please note there is an additional fee for this service.

  9. Settlements with financing: For those signers who are obtaining a loan, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still working through the logistics and requirements associated with RON closings. Please check with your lender to see whether they have the capability to allow RON signings for your loan (most do not).  RON signings will be subject to a Remote Closing Fee which would be the responsibility of the signing party and can be collected at settlement.

  10. Copies of Settlement Documents: We will provide password protected electronic copies to parties of all settlement documents.  If hard copies are requested, they can be mailed after closing.

  11. Smile: It is our intent and expectation that these measures will allow us to continue to provide you with the high level of service you have come to expect from Counselors while simultaneously protecting the health and well being of all involved.  Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. We want you to enjoy the experience despite the hurdles!­­