The general home-buying process is tedious and complicated for seasoned and first-time homeowners. Home buying involves finding the perfect property, scheduling a visit, negotiating, applying for a mortgage, and closing. Fortunately, despite the initial slow uptake of technology, the real estate industry has caught up with modern innovations that have simplified various real estate processes. Below are a few ways technology has simplified the home-buying process.
1. Digital Home Search
Modern technologies have made it easier for buyers to find their dream home. Various online tools have made the home search process faster. Real estate websites like Trulia and Zillow have made house hunting efficient. Potential buyers get unlimited access to listed homes and property prices without the hassle.
Despite the slow initial uptake, modern homebuyers have increasingly turned to online searches to find their desired homes. Unlike before, when potential buyers had to rely on real estate agents and physical searches, 99% of homebuyers searched the Internet for listed homes in 2022. Most home buyers find their homes online first before contacting an agent.
2. Virtual Home Tours
Constant business growth has made the real estate sector a lucrative industry. While there is a constantly increasing demand for properties, estate agents often have to face stiff competition from other players in the industry. Currently, countless estate agents operate within the same area, making it difficult to sell properties. This means going an extra edge to attract and retain potential homebuyers.
Virtual tours significantly improve the home-buying experience and help estate agents edge out the competition. Virtual tours provide a realistic way for homeowners to show off their properties and grab potential buyers’ attention. Virtual tours essentially use virtual reality technology to give clients a life-like walkthrough of the property.
Ideally, closing the sale with a physical visit by the client is possible, even with virtual tours. However, potential buyers often make partial decisions after a virtual tour. Virtual tours are the best way to get immediate engagement from potential homebuyers. Most estate agents use high-quality images and videos to attract potential buyers. However, everyday images aren’t enough to convince and connect with buyers. A well-designed virtual tour gives buyers a realistic idea and feel of the house.
Virtual tours also save valuable time. Estate agents often have to deal with hundreds of phone calls from potential buyers after listing new properties. This means scheduling in-person visits that may or may not result in closing. Meeting all prospective buyers in person is time and energy-consuming. A good percentage of these inquiries are also just curious buyers without real intentions of making the purchase. Virtual tours help estate agents avoid these inconveniences. Buyers can explore properties from their phones or laptops, minimising time wastage.
3. Digital Mortgage Application
The current digital revolution has also transformed the mortgage industry. Gone are the days of dealing with lengthy paper trails, weeks of uncertainty, and countless physical meetings. Transformations in mortgage application have simplified the home buying process and brought about unmatched efficiency and transparency in the application process.
Securing a mortgage in principle to complete your property purchase traditionally required you to physically submit a mountain of paperwork, mainly bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns. This meant countless visits to your bank or lender and possible document loss or misplacement. After submitting the paperwork, borrowers had to wait for loan officers to manually review and approve or reject the loan application. This resulted in long wait times, leaving borrowers needing clarification about their loan eligibility and approval.
However, digital mortgage solutions have changed the industry. These solutions use advanced technologies to streamline mortgage application and approval. Borrowers can now complete their applications and upload their documents online. Lenders and borrowers also enjoy streamlined communication and decision-making.
4. Virtual Home Inspections
While most homeowners prefer to inspect listed properties physically, circumstances like distance and the preceding COVID may not permit. Scheduling conflicts can also slow the entire process. However, the absence of a buyer, seller, or inspector shouldn’t limit the home-buying process. Picture and video-sharing technologies have allowed prospective buyers to conduct a detailed inspection virtually.
Potential buyers, inspectors, and real estate agents can inspect the property for current issues. Real estate inspectors or agents can send detailed inspection findings to the buyer faster, shortening the buying process.
5. Track Progress with Apps
Advanced technologies have also enabled property buyers to monitor the home-buying process online. Online tools help agents and buyers stay updated on transaction status. For instance, DocuSign allows buyers to complete offers, counteroffers, and contracts online using eSignature technology. These apps keep everyone aware of the buying progress without unnecessary back and forth. This reduces error and shortens the closing process. Since the procedures are entirely online, they promote transparency and reduce movement costs.
Technology has transformed the real estate sector in many ways, and the benefits are visible. Automation, virtual, and integrated realities have made real estate transactions more efficient, easily accessible, and transparent. With the real estate sector continually embracing these technologies, innovations will play more significant roles in shaping the future of real estate.