The coronavirus pandemic is forcing the real estate industry to lean more heavily on a digital notary process to close transactions. Some banks are accepting digital signatures but others are refusing, possibly jeopardizing pending sales.

The state started allowing online notary services in January 2020. Since then, South Florida realty firms have been relying on local attorneys and title insurance companies to process the transfer of a deed and ensure the parties signing and requiring financing are committed to their home.

“Things were moving in that direction before the coronavirus. This is just pushing the wave of the entire closing process to online,” said Joe Hernandez, attorney and chair of the Coral Gables-based Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman.

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