MReport July 2022

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 67

32 | M R EP O RT FEATURE T he pandemic did result in one silver lining: the wide- spread adoption of technology. Anyone can order food delivery in seconds, buy a car with a click of a button, or pay your taxes in the comfort of your own home. However, as with any industry, change is hard no matter how positive the result may be. Technology, though, has become the one constant that has staying power, and there's no going back. This is true for the housing industry, too. The pandemic forced a major uptick in technol- ogy adoption, notably because of emergency use authorizations that made buying or refinancing a home easier and faster—and it's starting to translate into permanent change. For example, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) granted temporary desktop ap- praisals during the pandemic, and this has officially become a permanent option for new home loans. Ultimately, this means that instead of a physical person coming to a home to inspect the ins-and-outs to determine value, eligible appraisals are completed remotely "at the desk," using available third-party data such as number of rooms, size, or com- parable neighborhood statistics. Soon we will forget what it was like to have a physical appraiser take a walking tour of our future home. Desktop appraisals will be a preferred alternative and something that future homeown- ers cannot live without—there's no going back. While the appraisal process embraced change, technology's staying power does not hold true for the entire closing process just yet. For one, digitization of the homebuying process still looks different in each state. Where some states eagerly adopted essential technology such as digital signatures, some never implemented that option (i.e., California). Additionally, many states are still working to enact permanent options following the expiration of temporary emer- gency use measures over the past two years. So, why all this push-back for a solution that has proven to work? What is holding the industry back? The answer is pending legislation. Until there is uniform acceptance of technol- ogy's benefit to the home closing process, not all homebuyers will have access to an easy closing solution and are still at the mercy of their state's laws. To be clear, there are still nec- essary steps to take for you to be able to call your new house your home regardless of technology. One such step is notarization, or more simply, signing on the dotted line. Technology does not remove the notarization process, but it can make the experience more seamless and what consum- ers will come to expect, just as with appraisals. Until we get out of this legislative rut, there are three ways that you can finalize the home closing process with notarization: traditional, remote, and hybrid. What Is the Traditional Notarization Process? W hat is understood as the traditional notarization process in the U.S. has been es- tablished seemingly forever—even predating the established United States—and it is still the most common, accepted process. So, what is a notary, and what is their role in the traditional process? The basic definition of a notary is an authorized professional legally able to verify certain acts, most com- monly witnessing a signature (e.g., mortgage, deeds, etc.). Basically, the notary is the original two-step verification process. Don't Expect a Complete Digital Home Closing Just Yet Here are three ways to sign on the dotted line as technology adoption stalls. By Dominic Fahey

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of TheMReport - MReport July 2022