This year, remote online notarizations have taken a major step forward as more borrowers than ever are using eClosing platforms. And the consensus is in: borrowers like RON.
A new study conducted by ClosingCorp shows borrowers who completed purchase and refinance transaction during COVID-19 were very satisfied with their experience, and even hope eClosings will continue in the future.
“As we’ve seen throughout 2020, this crisis is accelerating adoption and acceptance of e-transactions, and when things return to normal, eSigning and eClosings will be the new normal and consumers will like it better,” ClosingCorp CEO Bob Jennings said.
The survey showed 95% of borrowers said their closings were efficient and 90% said they were satisfied with their closings, most of which involved eSigning and remote closings. A full 89% of these buyers and 84% of refinancers said they eSigned their disclosure, closing documents, or both.
And at 55%, more than half of these borrowers said their closing was conducted remotely, and not in traditional locations, likely through RON or drive-through closings.
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For those who had closed on a mortgage in the past, this time around, 79% of respondents said that technology played a bigger role in the current transaction.
The end result? About 82% of these borrowers said they preferred eSigning documents before closing and more than two-thirds of borrowers said that in the future they would prefer remote closings over in-person. The borrowers who were less comfortable with remote closings tended to be in the 55 and older age range.
Due to COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders imposed across the U.S., RON closings became one of the best options for consumers as they continued to buy homes and refinance loans in a pandemic.
In fact, a partnership between Realogy Title Group and Notarize that has sought to accelerate the adoption of remote online notarizations hit a milestone in the first half of 2020. Spurred by the impact of the coronavirus, the partnership closed more than 1,600 RON transactions in the first half of 2020, a more than 200% increase over the 500 RON transactions that they closed in all of 2019, the companies told HousingWire.
“Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic and the workarounds that the lending and title companies have had to quickly put in place, borrowers continue to be satisfied with the mortgage closing process,” STRATMOR Group Senior Partner Jim Cameron said.
“Not only does the new survey align with what we’ve seen historically through STRATMOR and CFI Group’s ongoing MortgageSAT borrower satisfaction survey program, it suggests that the more electronic – or ‘e’ –each step in the process becomes, the higher the satisfaction.”
The survey, conducted in early September, interviewed more than 690 borrowers nationwide who had purchased or refinanced a home since March 15, 2020. Approximately 15% of the respondents were homebuyers, 79% were refinance customers and 6% were both. Among the homebuyers, 35% were first-time buyers. The survey was sponsored by ClosingCorp and jointly designed with STRATMOR Group.