Open Houses Are Out, Drive-Through Closings Are In

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Blair Raggio and Robert Frye outside Allegiance Title, one of a few companies offering drive-through closings during the shelter-in-place restrictions. (Courtesy Photo)

Just last week, Dallas County Commissioners amended the shelter-in-place declaration to allow real estate-related businesses (inspectors, escrow, and loan officers) to continue to operate as essential businesses. So while curbside closings are in, showings and open houses are still out.

Robert Frye, escrow officer at Allegiance Title Preston Center, has conducted several curbside closings this week with more to come. Here is what he had to say:

“At Allegiance Title, we try and be as light on our feet as possible when it comes to accommodating the needs of our clients. With the current restrictions in place, we saw the opportunity to take that literally with our curbside closings.

We prefer to close our clients in person, to ensure both accuracy and their understanding of the documents. Not only do curbside closing accomplish this, they establish a safe space for everyone involved and seem to be a memorable experience for our customers.”

Other companies that are offering social distancing-friendly closings include Legacy Title and Fair Texas Title.

NAR Wants To Push Remote Notary

The National Association of Realtors sent a letter to Congress last week asking legislators to push forward with the SECURE Notarization Act. NAR hopes to keep transaction volume up as many localities have restricted showings and open house traffic, asking Congress to “include policy in coronavirus response legislation that would pave the way for remote notarizations nationally and make it easier to complete transactions entirely digitally as the coronavirus crisis deepens.”

While there are 23 states that allow a remote notary, they are not widely used in Texas. NAR hopes to change that with legislation that allows documents to be executed from different locations.

 “As the nation and world grapple with some of the most difficult and uncertain circumstances of our lives, NAR continues working with the federal government to secure policy to promote public safety and protect this critical driver of our nation’s economy,” NAR President Vince Malta said in a statement.

Coronavirus Will Change The Housing Market, Says ApartmentList

ApartmentList offers seven ways the real estate market will be reshaped by coronavirus.

In a new report, ApartmentList gives us seven ways our real estate market will be changed forever in our post-COVID-19 world.

Governments across the US have halted evictions amid the coronavirus crisis, more people will continue to work from home, and the list goes on. Interestingly (or predictibly) sight-unseen home purchases will increase — a trend many Realtors are already seeing.

One interesting note: ApartmentList predicts an across-the-board pause on dense urbanization, as closely populated areas in the U.S. have been those that are hardest hit by the coronavirus.

Cities thrive on social interaction, and the outbreak of coronavirus turned off most of the benefits of urban living overnight. Shared spaces and assets in the form of restaurants, co-working, and events don’t exist in the temporary quarantine economy. The small businesses that power these activities will be hit hard in the meantime, possibly needing to close or relocate to lower-cost areas. Time will tell whether the trend of urbanization will reverse, but we should expect the expanding economies of dense urban areas to take a significant hit in the next year.

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Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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