How has the home-buying experience recently changed?

The internet has had an enormous impact on the home-buying experience over the past decade, mostly by making information available. Now, most home buyers begin their search online before contacting an agent. Technology has also begun to make the loan application process easier — many lenders allow borrowers to submit their loan applications online from any device. The next generation of technology solutions will lead to the convergence of home search, financing and transaction processes, as well as deliver a more seamless consumer experience.

What advice would you give prospective home buyers when it comes to finding financing?

It’s really important for homebuyers, particularly credit-challenged buyers, to explore all of their options, especially in today’s rising price/rising interest rate environment. The good news is that there have never been more options available for low down-payment loans. And non-bank lenders generally offer the widest range of loan products that are intended to help borrowers with credit challenges buy a home. Anyone thinking about buying a home should work with a lender to find out if they qualify and see how much they can afford. Often, prospective buyers are pleasantly surprised.

How can technology improve the home-buying experience?

There’s still a lot of friction in the home-buying process. For starters, finding a home and financing a home are usually disconnected activities. There’s a lot of paperwork and running around by home buyers who need to secure various services and sign documents during closing. And while technology has made the home-search process better, it can also overwhelm buyers with information. The next generation of technology solutions needs to drive the convergence of the home-finding and home-financing processes, which will dramatically simplify things. The home-search process should center around the customer — what type of home the consumer is interested in and what the consumer can afford. And it should make the entire process available to buyers, sellers and real estate professionals on demand – whenever and wherever they might be.