At Tallgrass Title, we understand that real estate transactions must continue during the COVID -19 pandemic. Real estate sales and transactions cannot simply stop because of this serious health scare. Many contracts for the sale of real estate were signed prior to the global outbreak. It is doubtful that the contract was contingent on a global pandemic. Additionally, numerous folks began the refinance process for their home loans. Without closing within a specified time, loan locks are in danger of expiring. Therefore, closings continue to take place but with new added precautions and measures to support social distancing and prevent the further spread of the virus. At the same time, many of these measures have been in place at Tallgrass Title for several years. The purpose of this post is to share these measures with our customers and how they’re convenient and will save the parties time, pandemic or no pandemic.
- Early deed packets mean smooth closings. Having the Seller sign deed packets ahead of closing allows for the Seller to be absent from the closing. The Sellers can sign their packet in front of a notary at their convenience and simply drop the packet in the drop box at either one of our locations. The only in-person interaction that a Seller must currently have with another person is signing the deed packet. However, notaries (as well as TGT staff) are providing ways to prevent spreading the virus further. We are also offering several different options to assist in social distancing loan closings. Ask one of our closing agents for options!
- Use of electronic signatures. With the growing use of online services, wet-ink signatures are simply not needed for most documents. Several programs like HelloSign, DocuSign and Dotloop allow for a person to sign from their phone or computer. Therefore, there is no need to meet face-to-face with a person to execute closing paperwork. At Tallgrass Title, we routinely offer parties the option to sign settlement statements electronically.
- Use of Earnnest for delivery of earnest money. Earnnest is a program much like Venmo, Cash App or PayPal that allows for the instantaneous transfer of earnest money. Therefore, there is no need for the physical delivery of earnest money to our office.
- Wiring of proceeds or delivery to bank. Tallgrass Title offers free wiring of real estate agents’ commission checks. We also offer to wire Seller’s proceeds from their transactions. Additionally, our free courier service will deliver proceeds or commission checks to any local bank free of charge. This means that there is no need to pick up a paper check at our office. Ask your closing agent for details.
Our goal is to make your transaction as smooth and convenient as possible. This includes in times of uncertainty. As stated, most of these techniques and measures have been in place before the COVID-19 pandemic so our team is well acquainted and comfortable with their use. Should you have any questions, our real estate professionals are happy to help. It’s our job!
With the increased social distancing brought about by the containment of the COVID-19 virus, Tallgrass Title is presenting several solutions for electronic closings. This week, our closing agent Karissa is presenting how to access Paperless Closer following closing to retrieve any closing documents needed.
Congratulations! Your transaction has closed and managing the final signed docs does not have to be a nightmare. When closing remotely, your biggest concern should not be “how do I get a signed copy?” We can help with that!
All documents that enter our office are uploaded to Paperless Closer and made available online to only the parties who should have access. For example a Buyer’s Realtor will only have access to Buyer specific documents and a Seller’s Realtor will only have access to Seller specific documents. All parties will have access to documents that are not party specific.
Once the transaction is closed we will mark it as such, which in turn clears it out of the Open files list in your Paperless Closer. But don’t worry, you will still have access to all closed, old, and even cancelled orders.
To search files that are not currently open, log into Paperless Closer. In the Lobby, change the Status from Open to the status of your file: i.e. all, canceled, or closed
This will refresh the list of files you can access.
But what if I can’t find the document I need in the list?
The default in the Documents Tab allows you to view ten documents at one time. As seen in the example below, the Displaying items shows 1-10 of 26; you can switch pages using the arrows to the left or clicking on the page number you want.Once you find the document you are looking for in the list of Descriptions click on the button to open in a PDF to print or save.
Our Team here at Tallgrass Title is ready to help keep you organized. Let us keep track of the paperwork so you can focus on helping your clients make their dreams come true.
Dear clients and friends,
Currently, there is uncertainty regarding how best to deal with the COVID-19/Coronavirus. We at Tallgrass Title recognize that people are utilizing social distancing techniques to protect their health and the health of others. We also recognize that some folks must continue to transact business or are contractually obligated to close their deal. In order to support both goals, we are happy to assist in the following ways:
- Free courier service for pickup and drop off. This includes picking up documents from your home.
- Electronic submission of contracts and most closing documents.
- Delivery of earnest money using the Earnnest web app. https://earnnest.com/
- Free wiring of proceeds and commission checks during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Tallgrass Title wants to ensure that you can close your important real estate transactions during these uncertain times and we are here to help! As this situation continues to develop, we acknowledge the need for increased flexibility for all parties. Please be in communication with our office on the best procedures for any upcoming closings. If you or your clients are under the weather or fearful of any contact whatsoever, we are happy to work with you in rescheduling closings as needs arise. By working together, we can keep all parties as safe as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices with any questions or requests you may have.
– The Tallgrass Title Squad
In efforts to further assist our buyers, sellers, and realtors, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Earnnest to bring an additional option to your tool kit.
What is Earnnest?
Earnnest is a web app that allows for the electronic and instantaneous transfer of buyer’s earnest money into our Tallgrass Title trust account. This service eliminates the requirement of delivering a physical check to our office or paying costly wire fees.
Functioning much like Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App, Earnnest is a perfect tool for transactions with out of town buyers, buyers unable to leave work, or for Millennials without check books!
How does it work?
- The real estate agent or the title company (that’s us) sends a request to the buyer for the value of the earnest money
- The Buyer gets a text or e-mail notification
- The Buyer verifies their identity and makes the payment
- The title company and escrow holder receives the payment instantaneously!
- Tallgrass Title generates an electronic earnest money receipt for the realtor file.
With the technology of Earnnest in conjunction with electronic signature apps, the contract signing and escrow set up can be fully digital! No one needs to leave their office or their couch.
At Tallgrass Title, our mission is to make your transaction as smooth and easy as possible. Earnnest is another step we have taken to continue that mission. We would love to demonstrate further how this new tool works for you! Please give us a call for details or simply request to get started with Earnnest for your next escrow!
In the digital age that we live, everything is online. You can shop online, meet people online, even work online. The internet has made everything from checking the time for a movie to buying groceries faster and more convenient. However, while it is super convenient, it comes with its own risks. Cyber crime is at a record high. We all know how to use the internet, however, not everyone knows how to keep themselves and their information safe online. At Tallgrass Title, we recognize the need for people to protect themselves and are constantly looking for new ways to protect our clients. We blog, teach classes, and review online security with our clients. However, there is always room for improvement, and we are always looking for more ways to be more secure. We found one. Our website document sharing portal is now secured with SSL Certificates. These are Secure Sockets Layer protocol certificates, or SSL Certs. Secure Sockets Layer is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client. Without the SSL, anything you send out of your computer is in plain text, something that is more easily read. However, with SSL, instead of sending out plain text, an algorithm is used to determine the secret code in which the email will be sent. So, to put it simply, we have made communication with our office encrypted. Technology is constantly growing and evolving, as are the risks that come with using it. We tell our clients and patrons different ways to be safe online, but now we can say: We are extra safe for you!
As most of you know, we recently opened an office in MHK. We had the opportunity to talk a little about our new adventure! Check out the video below!
When most consumers purchase a home, they obtain conventional financing for the purchase. This often takes the form of a 30-year, fixed rate loan. In order to secure the loan made to you, the bank files a mortgage with the register of deeds. This document tells the world that the bank has a first-place lien against the house and if any other creditors file a lien, that lien will be inferior to the first-place loan. Now, let’s say that the same homeowner would like to make improvements to their home, add a pool or build a garage and would like to borrow additional money to do so. The homeowner may also want to borrow funds for reasons unrelated to the home such as consolidation of credit card debt, assisting a child with college tuition or a business venture.
So, rather than to refinance the entire home loan and file a new mortgage, etc, to account for the increase in the loan, a bank will often file a second mortgage. This can also take the form of a home equity line of credit type mortgage (HELOC) which is also usually a second mortgage as well. The difference is typically the bank will automatically release a second mortgage upon payoff. With a HELOC, the bank will keep the mortgage filed and the note open to allow a consumer to re-advance funds as needed. Only upon request of the homeowner will the bank release the mortgage upon payoff. This saves the costs and expense of making a new loan every time a homeowner wants to borrow funds.
HELOC’s and second mortgages can be obtained with the bank that made the first purchase loan or with a different institution as selected by the homeowner. The bank handling the loan will usually order title insurance to insure that the mortgage is secured against all liens, besides the first place mortgage. If a consumer with a second place mortgage or HELOC later decides to sell the real estate, the title company simply pays off the second mortgage the same as it pays the first at closing. The only additional step is to request additional payoff information. Of course, there are many different types of second mortgages and HELOC’s. it is a good idea to discuss options with a finance professional.
Here at Tallgrass Title, we deal with second mortgages and HELOCs on a daily basis. Should you have any questions during your purchase, sale or refinance, feel free to contact our title professionals. We are here to help, its our job!
Last week we officially opened a Manhattan, Kansas office. This move follows requests from real estate professionals to locate an office to better serve their regional needs. You asked, we listened! Our Manhattan office (TGT MHK) is located at 210 N. 4th, Suite A in the Hartford Building. We are fully staffed Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00pm and are open over the noon hour. A drop box is located on the front of the building for after hours drop-offs. Both the Wamego and Manhattan offices are equipped to deal with closings, escrow deliveries, deed packet deliveries and notary services. Additionally, TGT MHK will continue to offer free courier service in the Manhattan area as well as mobile closings. We are here to serve your needs!
At Tallgrass Title, we love feedback about how we may better serve your needs. Feel free to speak with any of our title experts about your needs as a real estate professional.
Hello Manhattan! Please join us at the grand opening of the Manhattan office of Tallgrass Title. We are having a reception at our location in the Hartford Building on April 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. and we’d like for you to attend.
Local group, Solar’s Jazz Quartet will be delivering musical treats for your ears. Amazing food will be provided by Blacksheep Catering and Jake will being offering specialty cocktails.
We’ve heard from many of our customers they’d like for us to open an office in Manhattan, and as your newest neighbors, we want to hear how we can best serve you. We are excited to see you at our event so that we may learn more about your needs as a real estate professional.
The event will be held at our new office located in the Hartford Building located at 210 N. 4th.
Come out and eat, drink and say hello!
In this technological age, it seems like everything is at your fingertips. Have business to conduct? Pull out your smart phone and get it done. Have a report that is due while you are out of town and do not have all of the information you need? Find an internet café or public wifi, pull out your laptop computer and get to work. With the help of Wikipedia, Google, and any number of search sites, all of the information you need is at your fingertips. Great, right? It can be, but while it is easier for people to access information, it is also easier for hackers and scammers to access people’s personal information like social security numbers, bank accounts, and other personal information. Once they have that information, Tada! You now have six new credit cards, your debit card has been used to buy a new car half-way across the world, and you managed to get a speeding ticket in some hole-in-the-wall town three states over! Your identity was stolen! Scary, right? How can you protect yourself and your clients from this type of threat? Here are some tips for practicing public (and personal) internet safety:
- Never log into your email using public wifi. Get yourself a mifi device. A mifi device is a personal wifi that uses cellular broadband to make a wifi connection. Not super convenient, or free, but using a mifi device is much more secure. You can password protect it and it pulls from a private source. You can also typically use your smartphone as a personal hotspot.
- Change your passwords frequently. If a hacker gains access to your password, they may try to access your system or account more than once over a period of time. Changing your password reduces the risk that they will have frequent access. It also keeps things like a keystroke logger, which is surveillance technology used to record keystrokes, from obtaining your password through repeated logins.
- Never email any documents that have your client’s personal information. If you do email any documents that have that type of information, make sure it is password protected and encrypted.
- Stop and read an email before opening any attachments or following any links. If you do not have your email set up to preview a message before opening, modify your settings to allow it. A lot of attachments and links in fake emails from scammers and hackers have viruses and other little nasty surprises that can corrupt your system or open a backdoor for someone to get to the rest of your information.
- Do not use a free email service for your business email. Yes, they are convenient, and better yet, free. However, they have the barest minimum of security when it comes to allowing junk through.
Computers can be a convenient tool that can make our lives easier in many ways. By following these 5 rules, they can continue to be the tools that they are intended to be. Here at Tallgrass Title we are committed to protecting all of our associates and clients. Let us know how we can help you protect yourself and your clients from scammers and hackers.