Technology Reshapes Homebuying During COVID 19

Stephanie Captain

For most of us right now being at home is everything. School, work, entertainment and countless meals are happening without ever venturing outdoors. In a time when social distancing is more important than ever, borrowers are considering what impact the new constraints due to COVID-19 will have on home buying and the financing process. Many buyers are asking questions around whether they will be able to view homes, if they will need to make special arrangements to get through the home loan process, and how they can safely finalize title work at closing while keeping a safe distance.

Fortunately, in recent years the mortgage and real estate industries have been making advancements in technology to shift consumers toward more digital interactions. Lenders are working rapidly to further develop and implement additional ways to bring the traditional mortgage experience online.

SIRVA Mortgage has always been dedicated to offering consumers flexible options that make the home buying and refinance process easier. More importantly, during this pandemic those options reaffirm to buyers that there is a way to complete their home loan process both smoothly and safely with limited or no physical contact. Our team is committed to ensuring that our digital mortgage financing experience is meeting and exceeding your needs.

Digital Preapproval Process

As some areas across the nation face shortages on the number of homes for sale, it is increasingly important for buyers to secure a mortgage preapproval up front. Sellers want to be confident that they are dealing with a potential buyer who has taken the necessary initial steps to secure financing.*

SIRVA Mortgage’s digital preapproval experience is fast and convenient because it makes the process seamless. In minutes our team can provide you with real-time interest rates, check credit, and perform digital verification of data such as income and bank statements. Any additional documents that you may need to e-sign or submit throughout the process can be managed through our secure document portal-no physical paperwork required. Saving time in the pre-approval phase will ultimately help you get moving toward a quicker closing.

Finding the Right Home

Whether you are moving locally or undergoing a relocation from across the country, the biggest step in home buying is finding the right home. In some areas, in-person showings are still happening with some new limitations on the number of guests allowed in the home and additional healthy distancing guidelines. While in other areas traditional open houses may be cancelled. These changes are reshaping the experience and real estate agents are getting creative in how they help clients find the home of their dreams from afar.

By using video conferencing, interactive 3-D imaging and the power of virtual reality technology, agents can offer virtual tours of homes to give their clients an idea of the property they are considering. By having the agent walk through the home on video chat, homebuyers can see the kitchen, take a look outside on the patio and explore the all the other great aspects of the property while asking questions and having the agent show any points of concern.

More sellers are also hiring photographers that specialize in creating 360-degree virtual tours to accompany the listings. This option lets potential buyers go through the areas of the home at their convenience without having someone onsite.

The disruption to business as usual that coronavirus has caused has subsequently opened the door for some new advancements in the industry. Although few would say that virtual tours are completely equivalent to a physical walk-through, these solutions are making it possible to allow you to pursue  finding a home even during these more challenging times .

 Safe and Secure Closing

Today there are several options that borrowers can use to review final documents and complete the closing. Many title companies are connecting technology with the notarization process to allow for an expedited process.  Some states permit e-closings that allow homebuyers to sign everything electronically from home while being viewed on video chat with the notary. In other states that do not yet permit e-closings, borrows can utilize a hybrid method that may allow them to review all the documents online in advance and then make a short trip in to sign the note, mortgage and other documents.  Because of the importance of keeping a safe distance, this interaction can be done in a controlled environment or even as a drive through service that promotes the health and wellbeing of everyone involved.

SIRVA Mortgage understands that things are constantly changing, not just with our industry but with the way people navigate the world. We are committed to meeting our clients’ needs with the world-class technology, service and care that makes both their health and financial goals a priority.