Homebuyers are increasingly taking charge of the process, with 73.5% saying they sought out home-financing options before they began looking for a home, according to a survey commissioned by loanDepot in connection with its real estate services provider, mellohome.
The share of homebuyers beginning with a search for financing is even greater among first-time homebuyers, with that number rising to 85.1%. LoanDepot said the survey reveals customers’ desire for greater speed, simplicity, and communication from their providers.
"This is definitely a shift from 10 years ago," mellohome CEO Chris Heller said. "It emphasizes how customers are changing their approach to homebuying. In the past, they relied on a real estate agent to drive the entire process. Now the customer is taking charge and doing a lot of the groundwork before they even get an agent involved.”
"Homebuyers have learned that getting their financing in order upfront helps prepare them to shop for a home with confidence and puts them in a more advantageous, competitive position, especially in tight markets. With the lack of inventory we've seen in recent years, it's especially important to be armed with a preapproval when that perfect home appears," he said.
While homeowners are taking more control of the process, the survey found that a majority still find buying a home a stressful experience. Of those surveyed, 66.9% said that finding the right home was not easy, making it the most difficult part of the process. Coordinating paperwork and the overall home loan experience ranked next highest, with 64.1% and 59.4% of respondents saying these tasks are not easy, respectively.
The survey was conducted by Drive Research in July and was based upon a random national sampling of nearly 1,000 home purchase customers.