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How to get documents signed with seller not physically present

By ERIC FEICHTHALER - Real Estate Law | Apr 29, 2021

Eric Feichthaler

Dear Mr. Feichthaler:

I am in the process of selling my house, and the closing date is next week. I have an out-of-town commitment that I cannot get around. Can my friend sign documents for me at your firm?

— Payton D.

Dear Payton:

I have handled many transactions where a seller could not be physically present for the transaction. There are many ways this can be addressed. First, you may be able to pre-sign documents prior to the closing, particularly if your buyer is not financing their purchase through a bank. You can sign all documents prior to your departure, including the deed, and we would hold the documents until the buyer signed their documents and sent closing funds.

Another option, particularly if documents from the lender need to be signed on or near the date of closing, is to empower someone to sign for you with a Limited Power of Attorney. You would need to have this document prepared, signed and notarized prior to your departure, and the person you designate could sign on your behalf. We would record the power of attorney along with your deed, to place in the public record that your friend could legally sign for you.

Finally, we could send you the closing documents to be signed and notarized to your location out of state. You would return them by express mail, since original documents are needed for recording.

These are the primary ways to resolve your inability to be here the date of closing, but you could also ask to postpone/move up the transaction if it is important to you to physical be here. However, as you can see, you have several options to close your transaction, on time, without your physical presence here the day of the closing.

Mr. Feichthaler can be reached at eric@capecoralattorney.com, or (239) 542-4733.

This article is general in nature and not intended as legal advice to anyone. Individuals should seek legal counsel before acting on any matter of legal rights and obligations.