Technology touches every part of our lives, and there is virtually no industry that hasn’t been touched by changes in technology the last 20 or 30 years. Real estate is no exception, and that goes for both sides of the transaction! From how a buyer can shop for mortgages to seeing how real estate is researched, bought, and sold on the realtor side. This offers more options than ever for finding the best deal on the best property for your specific needs, but it can also be a touch intimidating for people who haven’t been through this process before.
However understanding how technology is used for mortgages and real estate on all sides can help individuals to better understand their options better and understand how technology is going to affect each and every decision we make in the future.
The Changing Landscape of Getting a Realtor
There are major corporations who specialize in connecting sellers with a realtor. One of the largest sites along this line is Redfin, but there are literally hundreds of companies who use a similar model of online setup. Most of these companies talk about setting up sellers with local realtors, but a lot of them are a commission based model that involves referrals.
While this opens up the options, these companies online aren’t always completely transparent about how this works or that the realtors getting these leads often pay for them. While this can work out in some situations, really good realtors often don’t need to pay for leads through a 3rd party company which means often times those buyers and sellers who are going through a company like that often get sub-par realtors who really aren’t the cream of the crop.
There always are exceptions, but in general this is going to be true in most cases and when dealing with most transactions.
Then there’s the trust factor. There’s nothing like meeting with a person face to face to get a basic impression of them and a read in order to trust your gut instinct on whether you like the individual, trust them, or feel like they are trustworthy or not. That face to face meeting can tell a lot and visiting multiple potential realtors can feel intimidating but those meetings can give a lot of first hand information that simply isn’t available from online interactions or transactions.
Digital Mortgage Applications
At the moment there is no online mortgage application that is 100% online but many banks and lending companies have started with pre-qualification options online to give potential buyers an idea of whether or not they will qualify, how much they are likely to qualify for, and what types of terms to expect.
This can be a very useful tool to help individuals decide whether it is a good time to press forward, whether they need to spend more time fixing up their credit, and understanding what the viable price range is for them to look at. This is all important information that because of the way technology is being used, is much more available than it has been before.
These are still estimates, but especially if a potential buyer is working in person with the same bank or lender whose tools they are using online then this can help to expedite the process for both sides.
Current & Future Benefits to Mortgage Brokers & Realtors
One of the major benefits that technology is giving both sides is to make the process easier. Instead of having to make multiple hard copies of documents like employment history, credit scores, recommendations, the ability to have all of these in file form that then can be uploaded online where they can be grabbed over and over to put on an online application makes it easier to always have those available so a few clicks attaches the document and the online portion can be sent in.
There is no question that drastically cuts down on time and expense of the process. Making things easier is never a bad thing, and considering it is the same documents needed for each potential lender, it only makes sense to have a setup like this which makes things run more smoothly and makes those documents easily available for the multiple potential applications.
While it’s hard to say where technology will take the mortgage market in the future, it is definitely reasonable to assume that as more things become streamlined and more services continue to be offered online that even more of the process will be made available online and more of it will be automated.
While this can seem scary in some ways, it also has the potential to make sure that buyers have more of a handle than ever on how the process works, what their options are, and they can leverage that information to get a better deal with making the process easier on a realtor to get a property bought or sold. That is the ideal win-win situation for all involved.