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Most Borrowers Want to Close In-Person

As the housing market continues to adapt to unprecedented demand as digitization becomes the norm, 81% of borrowers still prefer an in-person closing over a digital one. 

This data comes from Solidifi U.S. Inc. (Solidifi), a network management services provider for the residential lending industry, who surveyed over 1,000 borrowers who refinanced or purchased a home within the last two years. 

While borrowers still want to complete closings in person because it instills a certain level of trust in the process, borrowers are also embracing the digital transition and want to be able to review their closing documents digitally before the closing date. 

“As the consumer mortgage experience becomes more digital and we continue to see generational shifts, investments in technology coupled with customer service-oriented, in-person touch points like the appraisal and closing will play a crucial role in transforming the real estate experience and experience and delivering proven performance that our customers can depend on, every time.” ultimately determining customer satisfaction with a lender,” said Solidifi President Loren Cooke. “In fact, borrowers who had an exceptional experience with their lender are more than twice as likely to recommend their lender, and 94% are likely to use the lender again.” 

The survey also found that while boomers viewed purchasing a house as a financial transaction that provides stability, millennials viewed purchasing a home as a way to meet the needs of their family and community. 

While boomers and millennials had different approaches in the buying process, both groups still feel that owning a home is representative of the “American dream” and represents an “investment in their future, stability, a place for children to grow and thrive, and it represents the most significant financial transaction in their life.” 

“With our on-demand economy, the ‘convenience factor’ continues to morph consumer preferences in real estate as with so many other retail services,” said Cooke. “Our survey revealed that convenience drives consumer preferences when it comes to closings, and the majority of borrowers prefer to close in an office or at their home versus online. This year, 62% of borrowers indicated that they would like mobile notaries to facilitate their closing, including 71% of Millennials, who were the largest age cohort to prefer a mobile notary.” 

The survey also found that appraisals continue to be an important part of the buying process. 2-in-3 borrowers who interacted directly with appraisers indicated that they had better experiences and therefore had more trust in their lender. 

“Our survey reiterated that the caliber of the appraiser and closing agent continues to be a key determinant of customer satisfaction—and that Solidifi outperforms competitors on customer satisfaction,” Cooke concluded. “Appraiser and closing agent professionalism, meaningful interactions and communication make or break the consumer experience – that’s why we focus on creating an extraordinary customer  

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle Horst
Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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