GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE SOCIAL DISTANCING
AT A REAL ESTATE CLOSING

For the benefit of our clients, McMillan, Psaroudis & Markey, PA will continue to operate and conduct closings.  In order to best protect our staff, clients, agents, and any third parties who are involved in our office’s real estate transactions, as well as promote social distancing, we have temporarily established new office polices.  We are carefully monitoring the local Register of Deeds offices, which are currently all open. As the impact of the Coronavirus develops within our community, we will update our office policies and operation, as may be needed.

HEALTH AND SANITATION PRECAUTIONS

On Your Part:

  • IF YOU ARE SICK OR EXHIBITING SYMPTOMS. In order to best protect our staff, we ask that any individual who is exhibiting any signs or symptoms of sickness reschedule your closing appointment.
  • IF HAVE HAD CONTACT WITH SOMEONE EXHIBITING SYMPTOMS. Unfortunately, the best advice from the CDC is to proceed in the same manner as if you were sick.
  • WASH YOUR HANDS. Prior to engaging in any closing activity please thoroughly wash and/or sanitize your hands. These activities include:
    • Handling documents
    • Signing documents
    • Final walk-through
    • Entering buildings (doorknobs, elevator buttons)
  • AVOID PHYSICAL CONTACT WHERE POSSIBLE. Please accept our apologies for not shaking hands and please do not be offended when we decline.
  • AVOID LINGERING IN THE CONFERENCE ROOMS. Prior to entering the office please have your driver’s license available for photocopying.  Upon entering the office, our receptionist will direct you to our copy machine so that you can make a photocopy of your license and you will then be  immediately directed to a conference room.  Once the attorney has indicated that your closing is complete, please exit the conference room and our office as soon as possible.  For Builder closings where we may not be able to release your keys we are  waiting to receive funds,  we will ask that you provide us with a phone number so that we may call you to return as soon as those funds have been received.

On Our Part:

  • WE PLEDGE TO FOLLOW THE SAME PROTOCOLS LISTED ABOVE.
  • ADDITIONAL STEPS WE WILL TAKE:
    • Spray and/or wipe conference room tables and chairs between closings
    • Handout new pens for each closing, we encourage you to take the pen with you when you leave
    • Maintain a distance of at least six feet from other individuals where possible

PARTIES AT CLOSING

  • BUYERS/BORROWERS/SELLERS. Please follow the directions above and bring only the necessary signers to the table. In the event you need to bring additional parties with you, we kindly ask that they wait in your car. For closings in the Southpark office, upon arriving in the parking lot, please call Cathy Norton at our front desk at 704-714-4235. She will let you know if the attorney and conference room is ready. If they are not available, she will ask you to wait in your car and call you once they are ready for your closing. We want to do this in effort to protect our clients as well as our employees by limiting the number of people gathering in the lobby and office for the closings and to comply with social distancing guidelines. If you are closing at the Huntersville or South Tryon offices, please contact your paralegal for the correct procedures.
  • CHILDREN. We ask that you try to refrain from bringing your children to closing at this time for their protection. If you are unable to find childcare, please let your paralegal know so that we can make arrangements for you to alternate meeting with the attorney.
  • REAL ESTATE AGENTS & LENDERS. At this time, we are not allowing any additional parties to be physically present at the closing. Please consider phone conferencing or Facetime/Skype attendance if you would like to be present with your client.

 

CLOSINGS AND PHYSICAL LOCATIONS

  • OFFICE HOURS. Our office will continue to be open for closings and our hours will remain 8:30 to 5:00; however, we are implementing an Appointment Only policy. If you do not have a scheduled appointment, please call or email our office as we will not be able to greet walk-ins.
  • The buyer(s) and/or seller(s) are the only people who should be physically present in our office for closings or appointments, see above for more details.
  • LENGTH OF CLOSINGS.  Our office prides itself on our attorneys’ friendliness and desire to educate buyers about the closing process and to explain all closing documents.  At this time and in order to shorten the amount of time of closing (and thus lessen exposure), our attorneys will quickly review all documents at closing and will attempt to have buyers in and out of the office within 20 minutes.  If you would prefer to read your loan package in advance, please contact your paralegal who can email you the package prior to closing.
  • RECORDING. We will attempt to record electronically where possible to limit additional exposure while at the Register of Deeds.  Where “Physical” or “in-person” recording is necessary, we will visit the Register of Deeds ONLY ONCE A DAY to limit additional exposure.  Please understand that this may delay the recordation and distribution following the closing.
  • If it is unavoidable that your closing be rescheduled, please communicate with our office and the other parties.  Additionally, if your transaction involves a loan, please consult with your bank regarding the expiration of your interest rate lock.

FINANCIAL

  • CASH CLOSINGS. All cash closings (e.g. not involving a loan), other than purchases from a Builder, will now be handled remotely, without a physical in-office closing.
  • NO PHYSICAL CASH. Physical cash is handled by multiple people every day and can be an opportunity to circulate many germs, not just COVID-19.  Please do not present physical cash at the closing, but defer to bank checks and wires, where possible.
  • EARNEST MONEY DEPOSITS. If possible, please mail or wire earnest money deposits. In the event you do need to drop off the Earnest Money check, please contact Cathy Norton cnorton@mplawcarolinas.com so that arrangements can be made to minimize your time in our office. Acknowledgments will be emailed as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for your understanding while we work diligently to ensure that your real estate transactions are not delayed and to do our part in preventing the spread of this problematic virus.