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Streamlining the home buying process for first-time buyers with automation tools

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While purchasing a home is an important and exciting chapter in one’s life, it can also be an overwhelming experience, even more so if you are a first-time buyer.

You must factor in various things, like finding the right property in your desired location, financing your purchase, and navigating legal requirements.

The whole process can be a bit complicated, but thankfully, you can now use automation tools to ease the process.

Automation Tools for Home Buying Process

Home purchasing automation tools are tools that assist home buyers in managing the different processes involved in buying a property.

Generally, automation tools have features that include 3D home tours, online listings with detailed descriptions and photos of each property, various financing and loan options that suit your finances, and easy-to-use document filing systems.

Using automation tools when trying to buy a house can significantly streamline the entire process. 

From viewing multiple houses from the comfort of your home to scrapping transportation costs since you don’t have to check numerous properties. These automation tools have reshaped the way the real estate industry operates. In particular, Real Estate CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems play a pivotal role in streamlining communication, managing leads, and enhancing overall efficiency for real estate professionals.

On that note, here are some great examples and SoFi's guide to first-time home buying.

Property Search Engines

Searching for a potential home can take up a lot of time and effort especially since you’re looking for one that meets your tastes and preference. This already mentally wrecking task becomes even more challenging if you have a big family.

Previously, you would have to contact multiple real estate agents and visit multiple properties to gather as many suitable options as possible.

Today, while some may enjoy the rush, not many people have enough free time on their hands to embark on such a journey. The good news is you can simply go online to find your dream home. Numerous websites now feature houses with different designs and capacities spanning multiple cities and neighborhoods.

All you need to do is check out the online catalogs that have been listed on different sites and find your ideal home.

After picking one that suits you and your family, all that is left is to schedule a meeting with the seller.

Digital Mortgage Application

One of the things that complicates the home-buying process is getting financing. And the most popular means of financing your home process is getting a mortgage loan.

A mortgage is a financial loan used to purchase a real estate property. The mortgage is paid back over a set number of years, depending on how much was borrowed, and the interest rate the agreement was made on.

In this loan option, the property in question is usually used as collateral, meaning the lender has the right to take over the property if you default on your payments.

Nowadays, financial institutions have created online platforms where home buyers can fill out and get approved for a mortgage loan without leaving the comfort of their homes.

This process helps home buyers know if they pre-qualify for the loan and saves the time spent visiting a lender’s office just to discover they didn’t qualify for a loan. It also makes it easy to research mortgages. Buyers can understand how mortgages work and what is expected of them even before setting foot inside a bank or financier’s office.

3D Home Tours 

If you are a gamer or enjoy going to the movies, you’re probably familiar with how virtual reality can improve your viewing experience using some devices or equipment. Augmented reality lets you have a realistic viewing experience, all in the comfort of your home or office, and it is now being used in real estate.

Home buyers no longer need to visit a location to see how it looks, housing agents now use online platforms to create virtual 3D tours of their properties. This tool is particularly useful for buyers who are moving across states, as you don't need to book a flight to see your new home. To further streamline your relocation planning, you can use other tools such as a moving costs calculator, which helps you estimate and budget for the expenses associated with your move.

A 3D tour provides an in-depth experience, giving the buyer a realistic feel of the home's features, including its interior decor.

Agents can use this tool if they have many properties to offer, and some websites even let you see the neighborhood, albeit partially.

Track Purchase With Apps

Owing once again to technological advancement, a buyer can monitor the status of a property of their interest.

Online tools can assist the agent and buyer in staying current on the transaction status. It keeps everyone aware of the transaction situation without any unnecessary back-and-forth between them. This can help close sales faster, reducing errors as much as possible and allowing the buyer to budget more effectively. Also, since the entire procedure is online, it reduces transportation costs and promotes transparency.

Mortgage Calculators

A mortgage calculator is an automated tool that assists home buyers in estimating their monthly payments and the total cost of their loans.

The estimation is usually based on variables like the interest rate, down payment, loan term, and loan amount. These calculators can be very helpful for first-time buyers who want to know how much they can afford to borrow. It also lets them understand the financial implications different loaning options may pose due to a change in different factors.

Mortgage calculators usually need the user to provide the following information: the loan amount, the interest rate offered, the loan term, and the amount intended to be used as a down payment. When all the necessary information is provided, the calculator will generate an estimated monthly payment and the total mortgage cost over the loan period.

Some calculators also produce extra information, like the amount of money that goes into interest and principal and how a change in down payment fees affects the monthly payment.

One thing you should always have at the back of your head is that mortgage calculators are just estimation tools, and they may not reflect a mortgage's exact terms and fees.

Home buyers are to consult with a financier and get pre-approved for a mortgage to get an accurate amount.

May 8, 2023
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