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How to Make the Title and Escrow Process Smooth – Melissa Riverman of Western Title & Escrow

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House Talk Episode 9 – How to Make the Title and Escrow Process Smooth

A Conversation with Melissa Riverman of Western Title & Escrow in Bend, Oregon

Karen Malanga: Hi, this is Karen Malanga with House Talk. And today, we have Melissa Riverman from Western Title & Escrow in Bend, Oregon. Melissa, how long have you been doing title and escrow?

Melissa Riverman: I started in escrow in 1984, so it’s been 32 years now.

Karen: And that’s one of the reasons why we try to always use Melissa because no one has more experience.
So, in your many years of doing title and escrow, what is the best thing that they can do to help that title and escrow go through for you?

Melissa: I think it’s all of us working as a team – and that’s the realtor, buyer, seller, the whole team. I think comn is huge. It’s huge for us.

Karen: Do you mean communication like when I call you and say, “Oops, I didn’t know that my sellers were leaving for Europe for five weeks, and they’re not going to be able to have DocuSign or something”?

Melissa: Yes, a heads-up on situations like that is very helpful because then, we can always try to get them in early (which is easier in tracking them in Europe). And with buyers, if they know they’re leaving town or one of them is leaving town, possibly, we can do a power of attorney for them. But the lender needs to approve that. But most times, we can get away with doing a power of attorney if one of them happens to be leaving town.

Karen: And that makes it just a heck of a lot easier.

The other thing I run into these days is because so many people are getting to used to electronic signatures, they don’t understand that on some loan docs, it has to be notarized signature. And I think that’s something important that we still need to convey to people.

Melissa: Yes, I do get that quite often especially from sellers (and buyers too). But yes, any documents that need to be recorded, we have to have the originals back in our office. We have not gotten to the point yet where we can go off a certified copy or anything like. That document has to be notarized. And by being notarized, you have to sign in front of the notary, which therefore, you need the live signature.

Karen: Yeah. I remember last summer, you and I had a couple of transactions where people literally went camping. I mean, what are they thinking? How are they supposed to get a notary out in the middle of their camping?

Melissa: Nowhere! And they have no communications sometimes. We found that they had no cell service where they were. Good for them. It’s always nice to get away from that. But if we have a way to track them down and get them signed.

Karen: Yeah, I think some of that comes down to the realtor to. In fact, now in my office, we have a checklist when we enter into a contract. It’s like, “Are you leaving town? And if so, when?”

Melissa: But we find that, quite often, it’s like, “Okay, you’re still in your home. Are you buying a new home?” and then all of a sudden, there’s this vacation planned. And I understand people can’t change their plans. But just a heads-up on that gives us a great leeway in trying to get everything prepared ahead of time for people.

Karen: And now with the new guidelines and rules, they have to get that certification or that closing disclosure three days prior. And how are they supposed to get that to review if we can’t communicate with them?

Melissa: Right, right. And most of that, I found the lenders are doing most of that or a lot of that electronically.

Karen: Okay.

Melissa: So, they can acknowledge electronically on that part. But they still have to sign in-person.

Karen: And they still have to have cell service or some sort of Internet connection going.

Melissa: Correct.

Karen: Well, thank you, Melissa. Thanks for being here. I can’t think of a better person to handle title and escrow than you and a better company than Western.

Melissa: Thank you, Karen. I sure appreciate it.