We Are Open For Business
As you may have read in the “Illinois Shelter In Place Order”, lenders, title companies, and appraisers are considered essential businesses. These industries provide crucial services to the housing market; help homeowners free up money in the monthly budget through refinancing; and allow homebuyers close on their new homes.
We are 100% committed to the support, aide and safety of our clients
UHL has been taking key safety precautions to protect our clients and our workforce for the last two weeks. We understand, given the interactive nature of our business, that we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect our community. Since March 14th we have been working remotely and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Prior to that, we had fully embraced social distancing, twice daily wipe downs, sending home employees who were even mildly sick, and all other COVID-19 safety precautions recommended by our government and medical professionals.
Outside of UHL’s direct environment, we realize title company closings and home appraisals are the two major areas of the mortgage process requiring face-to-face interaction with clients. Which is why we feel it was of utmost importance to share the following revised title and appraisal procedures, designed to ensure the safety of our clients, employees, colleagues, and their families.
Appraisal Safety Precautions
Please not that while appraisers do not work directly for United Home Loans, we are ensuring that all appraisers we partner with are aware of and practice COVID-19 protocols. Whenever possible, UHL will attempt to secure an appraisal waiver or exterior-only appraisal inspection. However, on some refinances and most purchase transactions, an interior inspection is required. For those instances, appraisers will adhere to the following precautions:
- Practice social distancing by maintaining six feet between themselves and the property contact; either the homeowner (refinance) and the seller’s agent (purchase)
- Wear gloves during the inspection and masks if available
- Limit contact with interior surfaces of the home
- Limit time inside property to the absolute minimum necessary to obtain required information
- We ask that the homeowners have all lights on, doors ajar, and pets contained in order to avoid necessary interaction with individuals living in the home.
- If possible, please have a written list of recent improvements (last 15 years) along with a plat of survey; which the appraiser will photograph due to safety precautions.
- Weather permitting, most discussions should take place outside of the home
While we are trying to limit interior inspection time, we can assure you our appraisers are attaining the necessary information in the timeliest manner possible.
Title Company and Closing Day Precautions
Similar to the appraiser and lender relationship, title companies are not directly affiliated with United Home Loans but we are working closely with them to obtain clear title and complete the closing process for the refinance or home purchase transaction. Title companies that we work with closely on a regular basis have confirmed they will adhere to the following safety precautions:
Curbside remote closings
- These are usually refinance closings done at the client’s home
- Client is handed closing documents by closer who is wearing gloves
- Client is handed a bag of new or disinfected pens, which they will keep
- Client presents their ID at their door, which the closer will photograph rather than making copies
- Closer returns to their car to complete the closing over the phone
- They return to the door to pick up the closing documents when done
At-office curbside closings
- These are usually purchase transactions where the client goes to a title company office
- This is the same process as above but the closer meets the client at their car
- The client presents ID and signs all documents from the car
- The closer then returns to the car to pick up the documents when they are done signing
Typical in-office closings
- Title company employees will practice social distancing with all parties
- Create clean room environments
- Disinfect all surfaces before and after each closing
- Limit client and staff interactions
- Sanitize pens after each use or discard pens and use new ones
- Wash hands frequently
- Minimize closing personnel to only essential parties
We want to emphasize that these processes need to work for one person above all else: you, the client. If you ever feel unsafe, please instruct the appraiser or title company representative to stop the process and inform us of your decision. We will make every arrangement possible to accommodate your requests.
This is certainly a different and trying time for all of us. There are actions which can lessen the impact, and UHL is committed to taking each and every one of them. We truly appreciate the efficiency of our employees and the understanding of our clients.
Thank you for your continued support and business. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.