Without a doubt, technology makes life easier on many different fronts. In the real estate market, it’s made nearly every part of the homebuying process doable remotely. Here’s what an online homebuying transaction looks like.
9 STEPS TO ONLINE HOMEBUYING
Today’s society is a difficult and amazing one. While advanced technologies make life easier and more convenient, harmful viruses and civil unrest make it nearly impossible to interact with others as we once did. Because of these factors, the real estate industry has had to adapt, and as such, has developed into a successful online business.
Some people have decided to put their home buying needs on hold while others have pushed forward and turned to the Internet to find a new home. If you’re in the market for a new home but aren’t sure about physically interacting with the various real estate experts, lenders, and inspectors necessary to make it all happen, here’s what you can expect from an online home buying experience.
FINDING HOMES FOR SALE
Most people are already looking online for available homes for sale. Sites like Zillow make this step easy.
TOUR HOMES YOU’RE INTERESTED IN
Many real estate sites offer virtual tours of the homes they feature. Using your computer or smartphone, you can look at properties at your leisure.
In some instances, real estate agents offer tours via FaceTime, Zoom, and other video chat platforms. As they walk through a home, the buyer can experience the tour live and get close-up views of a home.
With the help of your real estate agent, you can compare similar homes in the area or compare floor plans of new construction homes without ever leaving your couch.
GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE
Many lenders allow you to fill out and submit applications online for pre-approval. This is an important step if you’re seriously looking for a new home as it lets you know how much home you can afford.
MAKING AN OFFER ON A HOUSE
Once you find the home of your dreams, you can electronically sign and submit an offer online.
In some cases, the lender may be able to conduct a remote appraisal of the home. This depends on program requirements as some require a physical, in-person appraisal.
COMPLETING THE MORTGAGE PROCESS
Most lenders will accept digital copies of any documentation they require. In fact, many have private portals that allow you to log in, sign, and transmit all the paperwork securely.
MANAGE HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE
Whether you decide to go with an existing company (like your auto insurance company) or you wish to have homeowner’s insurance through a different company, you can set it up and manage it either online or over the phone.
CLOSING ON YOUR NEW HOME
Digital closings are a thing these days through video notary services in some locations. Some closing companies have also begun doing curbside closings as well. If you aren’t sure about digital closing options in your area, ask your lender if it’s possible with your transaction.
Online home buying is becoming a popular way for people to find and buy new homes. If you’re in the market for a new home yourself and are concerned about interacting with others during the process, the information above might help you decide if buying a home online is right for you.