10 tips for building a modern transaction – Inman

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Thanks to new tools and automation, today’s digital transaction can save time and significantly reduce friction for agents.
Here are 10 steps to modernize the transaction.
Step 1: Get it listed. Since the pandemic, 3D tours, video, drone photography and virtual reality (VR) tools have skyrocketed in popularity.
PRO TIP: Help clients vet their listing options smarter and faster with digital showing signups and 3D tours.
Step 2: Collect signatures. While some agents are still using “wet” signatures, electronic signatures, or eSignatures, help maintain consistency in documents while saving valuable physical storage space.
PRO TIP: Check out mobile apps like dotloop’s 5-star-rated mobile app to easily collect eSignatures even via text.
Step 3: Pay deposit. Once the seller accepts an offer, the buyer pays an earnest deposit, which is held in the escrow account until closing.
PRO TIP: Because paper checks and wire transfers can heighten fraud risk and cybercrime, a digital earnest money process employs bank-level encrypted digital transfers that send the deposit directly to the escrow holder for a safer, faster deposit.
Step 4: Get the home inspected. An inspection ensures the property is in acceptable condition and meets code requirements. The inspector will recommend repairs or needed replacements.
PRO TIP: Some companies now offer remote inspections using geo- and time-stamped, user-generated videos and remote visual assistance tools.
Step 5: Perform title search. Next, an attorney, title or escrow officer examines public records to ensure there’s a clear title to transfer the home to the buyer. This ensures the seller is the legal owner and is eligible to transfer the title. The title company can then issue title insurance as indemnity protection and proof of a clear title.
PRO TIP: Some agents and title companies place a title order digitally through a digital title order service and have it sent directly to their software.
Step 6. Secure pre-authorization. Before making an offer, buyers typically secure a pre-authorization letter from a lender to show they’re financially able to cover the purchase.
PRO TIP: Look for a transaction management system that hosts Trusted Service Providers pages to connect customers with broker-preferred ancillary providers.
Step 7: Get appraised. A real estate appraisal protects the investment by confirming the loan doesn’t exceed the property’s value.
PRO TIP: Virtual home appraisers will conduct “curbside” or “drive-by” appraisals. They’ll analyze the exterior in person and examine the interior using video. First, check with your state’s regulations and lender.
Step 8. Notarize documents. With the traditional process, transaction coordinators have to schedule a notary typically a week prior to the visit.
PRO TIP: By notarizing documents digitally, customers can save significant time by reviewing, signing and notarizing documents from a mobile device.
Step 9. Gain compliance. Compliance regulations, which, at a minimum, mandate the documents required at closing, are critical to keeping the transaction on track and aboveboard.
PRO TIP: Transaction coordinators need solid workflows to ensure every document meets these strict guidelines. Electronic, automated workflows cut the paper chase and notify admins when action is required, saving time and errors.
Step 10. Close. Once the transaction clears for closing, the buyer takes a final walk-through. Funds transfer to the seller, the title company records with the county assessor or recorder’s office, and the buyer receives the keys to their new home.
Dotloop simplifies transaction management with a completely digital, automated process that centralizes data and features 75+ integrations.
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