Real Estate Agencies Find Another Way to Conduct Business with Drive Up Closings

Coronavirus Impacting Iowa
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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — One of the final steps to buying or selling a home is the closing meeting. Since closing meetings can no longer take place in office settings, real estate agencies are holding drive up closings. 

This entails a client meeting a closing manager or real estate agent outside of the office and the final steps of closing taking place in the car and over the phone. Closing Manager at Midland Title & Escrow, Deb Partee, said its customers have found no problem with this new solution of closing. 

“Other than a little bit of the inconvenience signing on a clipboard with maybe a steering wheel in front of you, I think the people are liking it and are very appreciative of us, keeping our distance,” Partee said. 

One Iowa Realty Agent said though many agencies will probably discontinue drive up closings once the pandemic ends, it is definitely the first steps in the real estate industry conducting more business remotely. Earlier this year, Governor Reynolds also pushed forward e-notarizations. 

“People do like convenience and the personal service comes right along with that. We’ve been able to manage the circumstance and make it a personal experience, even though you’re not sitting in the same room with everybody. So, I think it’s working, and some good will come out of it,” Realtor, Cathie Beals said. 

According to the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors, the real estate market is still doing fairly well despite the pandemic. The DMAAR said in March, home sales rose by 15.9 percent from the previous year.

One local mortgage loan officer says they’ve been working with clients whose financial situations have changed, such as adding cosigners and utilizing one borrower to ensure they still can purchase a home. 

“With the furloughs and people getting put on unemployment, there has been a little bit of a fallout,” Home Services Lending Loan Officer, Matt Fender said. “And with those cases, we are doing our best to try to put them back together. Whether that be adding a cosigner, utilizing one borrower. We’ve been able to work through those.” 

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