CEO: Working With Professionals In Person Is Important When Buying Property


The CEO of Comey & Shepherd in Cincinnati says there is something to be said for working with realtors and mortgage lenders in person at a time when it seems like more and more of the home buying process can be done from a cell phone.

Scott Nelson collects data about what is happening in their market, where the median buyer is 47 years old with a $98,750 annual income. His realtors have been helping people navigate the process of looking for a home through the market’s changes in Ohio, where potential buyers who would use a traditional mortgage are losing out due to a high percentage of cash offers.

Nelson estimates that 30% of home purchases are made with all cash in his market.

Comey & Shepherd offers mortgage and title services through commonly owned affiliate firms, as well as a complete relocation services department, according to their website.

Nelson explained why realtors and mortgage lenders are still an important part of the home buying process during a recent interview with The Mortgage Note.

Nelson said that younger buyers in their late 20s and early 30s are using traditional realtors at a higher rate than the generation before.

“Part of it is people don’t buy houses all of the time,” Nelson said. “At the moment, not much has changed for the use and appreciation of a traditional realtor.”

Nelson said when it comes to mortgage applications, they may appear easier online, but that doesn’t mean the documentation process is less cumbersome than it was five years ago.

Having a person to connect with for information is helpful. Online services may not offer those assurances, Nelson said.

“There’s not just a go-to person in the way there is with a seasoned mortgage lender,” Nelson said.

Leaders at Bank of America reported last month that their Digital Mortgage Experience accounted for 81% of total mortgage applications in 2021.

That is up from 45% in 2020.

Last year, Bank of America funded $53.7 billion in first mortgage loans through the Digital Mortgage Experience, 2.5 times their 2020 volume.

People can use the digital tool to prequalify for loans, apply for a new mortgage, and refinance their existing mortgage.

“Clients expect fast, smart digital tools that help make their banking, investing, and lending experience easy and convenient,” Matt Vernon, Retail Lending Executive for Bank of America, said in a statement.

Vernon said that the combination of digital capabilities and support from lending specialists helps them meet what clients need when it comes to speed, thoroughness, and accuracy.

Email story ideas to Editor Kimberley Haas: [email protected]