Survey: Homebuyers adapt to eSignings, remote closings during pandemic
Homeowners have adapted well to eSignings and remote closings and are very satisfied with their overall closing experience, according to a new national survey of people who bought and refinanced homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we’ve seen throughout 2020, this crisis is accelerating adoption and acceptance of e-transactions, and when things return to normal, eSigning and eClosings will be the new normal,” said Bob Jennings, CEO of ClosingCorp, a residential real estate closing cost data and technology firm, which sponsored the survey.
The survey comprised phone interviews with 691 borrowers nationwide who had conducted a mortgage transaction between March 15 and Aug. 31. Among the respondents, 15% were homebuyers, 79% were refinance customers, and 6% were both. About 35% were first-time homebuyers.
The findings included:
- 95% of borrowers said their closings were efficient and 90% said they were satisfied with their closings. Most of the transactions involved eSigning and remote closings.
- 89% of homebuyers and 84% of refinance customers eSigned either their disclosure, closing documents, or both.
- 55% of the surveyed borrowers said their closings were conducted remotely and not in traditional locations, such as a title company or lender’s office.
The borrowers who were less comfortable with remote closings were older (age 55 and up).
The results bode well for the mortgage industry’s trend toward digitization. More than two-thirds of survey participants say that for future transactions they’d prefer remote closings to in-person closings, and 82% reported that they prefer eSigning documents prior to closing.
DocMagic's Director of Enterprise Solutions Chris Lewis said the survey results are a positive sign for the industry: “It’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic to move the adoption curve in the right direction, but ultimately, it’s going to serve the mortgage industry well by further automating the paper-based processes of yesteryear that were hampering business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer efficiency."
The study was jointly designed by STRATMOR Group.
“Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic and the workarounds that the lending and title companies have had to quickly put in place, borrowers continue to be satisfied with the mortgage closing process,” said Jim Cameron, Senior Partner at STRATMOR Group. “It suggests that the more electronic—or ‘e’—each step in the process becomes, the higher the satisfaction.”