After all the struggles to protect consumers made the entire homebuying process more difficult for agents and lenders, help is finally in sight. New automated technology is swooping in to streamline the homebuying process and make it faster and simpler for everyone.
Taking a cue from the Millennial Generation, our business is completing more and more steps of the homebuying process online, with the goal of providing borrowers a streamlined, smoother client experience and increased efficiency in the process overall, with the resultant savings passed on to the buyer. For lenders and agents, online verifications speed up the process, meaning homes close faster, and a higher level of accuracy also leads to a better experience and quicker closing.
Last year, Fannie Mae announced the “Day 1 Certainty” initiative which, according to their promotional material, has three goals: freedom from paper-based validation, freedom from appraisal requirements on eligible refinances, and certainty on appraised values. All of this is in an effort to streamline and enhance the process and the buyers’ experience, which luckily leads to a better experience for the lender and agent as well.
- Refinancing: Allows appraisals of qualifying properties with qualifying loans to be conducted solely through an online valuation system. Shortens the time to closing in many areas where a shortage of appraisers is causing huge delays. Eliminates the cost to borrowers of a full appraisal.
- Income and employment validation: Partnered with Equifax (which apparently does more than just credit scoring) to reduce the amount of time it takes to process each loan by eliminating the need to collect many documents from the borrower. Reduces the risk factor for lenders and streamlines the borrower’s experience.
- Asset verification: Partnered with FormFree Holdings to improve security of borrowers’ personal information and support lenders with underwriting decisions.
Also getting in on the automation trend, Freddie Mac has announced upcoming changes similar to those Fannie is offering, including automated appraisals and verifications. Freddie states these changes will decrease the cost of purchasing a mortgage. Freddie is expected to offer appraisal waivers on purchase loans, rather than only on refinances like Fannie.
Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of these guys — you will. Roostify develops and sells automated mortgage technology, allowing lenders to receive applications and documents digitally to provide a better way to track the mortgage process and allow real estate partners to collaborate. Roostify is partnering with Equifax to allow that company’s new verification software to integrate with the Roostify technology, further streamlining the entire homebuying process for borrower, agent, and lender alike.
It’s going to be a challenge for some old-time companies to move forward into the digital age. Some experts are predicting that homebuying paperwork will be 100% online in the next five years — let’s get up to speed together, so we can support each other to grow our businesses!