Try typing the words “how to buy a house” into your favorite search engine; you will be overwhelmed by the flood of information that comes back to you. Today’s North Carolina homebuyers are an informed group of people with high expectations. They expect convenience and autonomy in the home buying process. Luckily, the same technology which has spawned a new generation of North Carolina homebuyers is also equipping sellers, real estate agents, and lenders to meet their demands.
Here are just a few ways technology has changed North Carolina homebuyers:
Gone are the days when North Carolina homebuyers leafed through the yellow pages looking for a real estate agent or cruised the streets with eyes peeled for “for sale” signs. Today, homebuyers rely on the internet to find and compare everything from their dream home to their lender.
If you are listing your home online, you will need at least six high quality photos to get a buyer’s attention. If you are proffering your services as a real estate agent or a lender, you will need a professional website and testimonials from previous clients.
Unless a buyer had experience in real estate or banking, it used to be uncommon to encounter a buyer with pre-conceived notions about the mortgage rate he or she should qualify for. Today, getting a mortgage estimate is as easy as Google-ing “mortgage calculator.” Anyone can do it.
And it’s not just North Carolina homebuyers who are using the new-and-improved mortgage calculators. Many lenders use advanced versions of these calculators to generate mortgage quotes in minutes rather than days.
In the past, applying for a mortgage meant dusting off your briefcase, filling it with papers, and taking a trip to the bank. Today, homebuyers are able to apply for mortgages from the comfort of their own home. All the application blanks can be filled in digitally, and important supporting documents can be scanned or faxed.
Not only can today’s North Carolina homebuyers apply for a mortgage online, they can seal the deal online as well. E-signatures eliminate the numerous quick trips to the bank that used to heckle homebuyers.
Keeping tabs on a buyer’s progress into his or her dream home is a cinch with any of the various real-time apps available on smartphones. Buyers can use these apps to organize and update to-do lists. Lenders can use them to track the progress of a loan application and get alerts of upcoming deadlines or missing signatures.
As with most other aspects of modern life, social media has added a new dimension of immediacy and transparency to the home buying process. Buyers can (and will) seek second opinions from everyone they know about their home buying process. If they feel disgruntled, they will broadcast their complaints to everyone they know. If they feel well-treated, they will celebrate with everyone they know.
Real estate agents and lenders are challenged to find new ways to stand out in all of the noise—and they must take extra caution not to offend their clients.
Times have changed in the real estate industry, but not necessarily in a bad way. Those who are willing to advance with technology can improve work efficiency and continue to wow North Carolina homebuyers. Those who refuse to progress will be left in the digital dust!