Almost the entire home-buying process has been transformed by technology. Over 90 percent of potential buyers use the Internet to find and compare properties, with many taking virtual tours and deciding on a house without going inside. While it took longer for the mortgage process to move online, this is now happening. Fewer potential buyers now fill out paper forms, and technology has changed the mortgage process in other ways, too.
- The process is more streamlined. By applying online, borrowers' scanned documents and other information is added directly to their files. Nothing has to be sent by fax, cutting down on lost documents or difficult-to-read printouts. Lenders can easily see what information is missing from an application, and everything is faster and easier.
- The mortgage process is also becoming more self-guided. By viewing properties, completing and submitting mortgage documentation, and communicating with lenders online, buyers are doing more of the work themselves. This forces buyers to become better educated about the process, giving them a sense of control. A loan officer is available to assist buyers at any point.
- Technology reduces costs in the process. Buyers who know how the process works and can do most of their online application themselves can save money by not employing a broker. Also, they are not taking up the time of a loan officer, freeing up that person to help others or work on other tasks.