In the new COVID-19 reality, with social distancing and personal health protection paramount, it is more important than ever for attorneys to know how to and be comfortable giving their clients the option to close transactions remotely.
Several factors, from the exchange of digital agreements and other items to be delivered at closing to the use of electronic signatures, are important to understand and should be agreed on by the respective counterparties in advance to allow a transaction to be smoothly closed or consummated remotely. The most important factors for closing transactions remotely include:
- Agreement among the parties to close the transaction remotely
- Identification of any closing deliverables permitted to be exchanged in electronic form only
- Identification of any closing deliverables that require the exchange of original “wet ink” signatures or other original pages, and if so, agreement on when and where original pages will be delivered
- Identification of any closing deliverables that require notarization, and if so, confirmation of the notary or type of notarization that is available and acceptable.
Whether all of the above factors are relevant varies based on the size and type of transaction. More detailed descriptions of these factors, in addition to other considerations to keep in mind when structuring a remote closing, are set forth below.