Real-estate agents are rushing to help home buyers and sellers close pending house sales, as the pandemic poses unprecedented obstacles to a high-touch process traditionally done in person.
House hunting usually involves a lot of contact, from the initial tour or open house to the final inspections and appraisal. The official closing is often an in-person meeting with a notary or attorney who oversees document signings.
With the coronavirus pandemic bringing shelter-in-place orders, the real-estate industry has been compelled to find workarounds for every step of this process, often having to navigate local requirements and consumer anxiety.
Home sales are now closing in parking lots where attorneys pass documents through car windows and throw away pens after each use, said Leslie Turner, founding partner at Maison Real Estate in Charleston, S.C.
“Everything’s just stopped” in terms of new business, she said. “We’re just trying to get the properties that we