Brannen, Searcy & Smith – COVID-19 Update
As a valued client of Brannen, Searcy & Smith, LLP, we appreciate the trust you place in our firm and our team across all offices. In the current environment, it is important for all of us to interact in a smarter and more conscious manner. We want to personally update you on the situation with COVID-19 (the corona virus) and the steps we are taking to ensure your health and safety in your upcoming closings. We have learned from past experiences with weather and other related disruptions to effectively continue operations remotely and have built our systems for such situations. In turn, we have refined and improved our ability to protect our clients in situations like this. To ensure you always have access to the latest information and guidance, we will continue to provide updates on our website relating to our COVID-19 operations. This will include updates on any relevant changes in operations which may impact your closing.
- Safety Precautions
- Increasing Lobby and Closing Room Cleaning – Brannen, Searcy & Smith, LLP, has increased the cleaning schedule of our lobbies and closing rooms, making supplies readily available to our client services team for more frequent lobby and closing room cleanings between each closing.
- Providing Individual Pens – Lenders and county recording offices often require the closing documents be signed in blue ink only. To that end and to ensure everyone’s safety, we are providing each client with a disposable personal pen at all closings.
- Ensuring the Health of Our Team – We have taken steps to ensure the continuity of our business and welfare of our employees. This includes instructing employees who feel ill or have a potential exposure to report to leadership and stay home while consulting their healthcare providers. We are also urging all employees to be vigilant about respiratory etiquette and washing of hands.
- Denying Access to Clients and Visitors Who Create Higher Risks. If clients and visitors to our offices answer yes to any of the below questions, access to our offices will be denied. Such individuals should alert our offices in advance of closing to make alternative arrangements to sign.
- Have you had close contact with or cared for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
- Have you returned from a cruise or trip within the last 14 days?
- Have you experienced fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath in the last 14 days (symptoms can also include sore throat, respiratory illness, difficulty breathing)?
- Closing Procedures
- Will Brannen, Searcy & Smith, LLP, be physically closing any offices? We do not expect to close any offices unless it is on the advice or specific direction of federal, state or local authorities. We will notify any potentially impacted clients if we are made aware of someone visiting our offices who is confirmed to have COVID-19 or who has been in close contact (as defined by the CDC) with someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19 and is reasonably believed to create any exposure at Brannen, Searcy & Smith, LLP.
- Can I e-sign for my Closing?
- Cash Buyer – YES: E-signing is available at no additional cost.
- Loan Buyers and all Sellers – NO (But see below) Many closing documents require signature in the physical presence of a witness and notary per Georgia Law.
- Can I sign remotely for my Closing?
- Brannen, Searcy & Smith, LLP, is waiving our remote processing fee (except for overnight delivery costs) for sellers and buyers requested mail-away packages. However, please note the documents still will need to be signed remotely in the presence of a witness and notary.
- Will my Closing happen on time?
- COVID-19 is not the first business disruption we have faced, and what we’ve learned from past experiences have helped prepare us to take care of our clients today. Our adjustments include paperless file systems to ensure our team continues working on your closing, both in our offices and remotely.