Waterstone Mortgage’s Full eClosing: How to Close on a New Home Virtually

January 25, 2021

eClosing offers a convenient, remote closing experience for homebuyers.

Over the past year, we’ve worked hard to move toward a completely digital mortgage experience – an initiative that has been expedited by the coronavirus pandemic and the need for contactless options for our customers.

And now, we’re excited to announce the implementation of full eClosings with the help of Remote Online Notarization (RON). We have executed numerous eClosings in branches throughout the country over the past month.

Typically, a closing appointment requires a Notary Public to be present as an impartial witness and confirm that everything is executed correctly and fairly. After all, buying or selling a house is a major financial transaction. The Notary will review all documents and stand by as a witness while you sign the closing documents.

For the most part, this is almost always done in-person – until now! Now, in select locations, more of our customers can sign important documents remotely. One such customer recently participated in a RON closing from Norway. (No really – that's true!)

How Does an eClosing Work?

Prior to executing full eClosings, we partnered with Snapdocs, Inc. to implement “hybrid eClosings” earlier this year. Hybrid eClosings allow homebuyers to review and sign most documents digitally prior to their closing appointment, with the exception of a few documents that require official notarization (they must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public).

This cuts down significantly on the amount of time spent at the closing table. On average, it could cut your closing appointment down from around 90 minutes to about a half hour. This has been especially impactful during the pandemic as many customers and title agents prefer to be in a socially distanced environment.

eClosing takes this to the next level.

With a full eClosing, our customers in select locations have the ability to conduct the entire closing appointment virtually. This begins with the same eSigning process used in the hybrid closing. Once all documents are signed, the homebuyers will attend a virtual appointment with the Notary via webcam (similar to Skype, Zoom, etc.) to sign the remaining documents and verify everything looks correct. That’s it!

Of course, homebuyers will still need to coordinate the transfer of keys with their real estate agent. Many buyers choose to do this at their final walkthrough of their new home. Other than that, the closing process is truly completely virtual.

“This marks a significant milestone for Waterstone Mortgage in our digital mortgage journey,” said our CIO, Tom Knapp. “Since we first launched our eClose platform in production last February, we have worked our way through hybrid closing, hybrid with eNote, and now full eClose with Remote Online Notary. There are many lenders, many much larger than us, who have not even started their eClosing project. We are thrilled to provide this improved experience for our customers and the title companies we work with in the loan closing process.”

While this is just the beginning of the eClosing implementation process, we’re excited to keep moving forward and bring full eClosings to even more customers in 2021.

Tech Awards: How our eClosing with RON is Getting Noticed

In April 2021, our eClosing with RON project was honored as a winner of the Milwaukee Business Journal's inaugural Tech Awards. Specifically, our virtual closing was the winner of the financial/e-commerce technology category. Plus, our very own Tom Knapp discussed all the details of this important project with the Milwaukee Business Journal.   


Contact a loan originator in your area to learn more or see if you qualify for an eClosing.