InsightsMortgage Cycles Are Inevitable, But Technology Will Soon Shorten Timelines

Recently, Inside Mortgage Finance reported on the elongated application-to-closing timelines caused by last year’s mini-refi boom. For loans closing in December, the influential newsletter noted that the process from start to finish took 48 days, up from 40 days in April. The article went on to say that lenders were coping by extending rate locks and prioritizing purchase transactions over less-time sensitive refis. What the article didn’t address, however, was the role technology will play in shortening cycle times during future refi booms.

Technology, like our EXOS suite, alleviates bottlenecks in the loan origination process, particularly for refinance transactions. Some of the areas that it streamlines include appraisal ordering and scheduling, title decisions and closing scheduling. One of the ways it does this is by engaging the end-borrower in the appraisal and closing process via self-serve scheduling tools.

ServiceLink’s lender clients have been experiencing the benefits of EXOS Valuations for more than 4 years, and the results have been dramatic. Typically, it reduces appraisal turn times by as much as 50 percent.  Now some major lenders and leading point of sale (POS) providers are also adopting this technology to enhance the mortgage origination process.

EXOS Valuations lets borrowers and real estate agents schedule the precise date and time for a property appraisal, using their smart phone, computer, voice assistant or wearable device. Unlike other scheduling tools, EXOS shows the actual calendars of the most qualified appraisers in each area. So, when the borrower selects a date and time, it’s booked and instantly confirmed, not just requested.

As part of the scheduling process, borrowers preview and approve details on their property, which are then sent to the appraiser in preparation for the inspection. The appointment confirmation includes the appraiser’s name, photo, contact information and make and model of their car.

This technology eliminates the need for back-and-forth phone tag with appraisers, which can add days and even weeks to the originations process. It also gives the customer greater transparency into the valuation process and more control and convenience—all of which tends to improve customer satisfaction. One top lender using EXOS experienced consumer ratings of just under five stars. And, when consumers scheduled their appraisers, turn times decreased by days.

While title isn’t usually a major bottleneck, it is an opportunity to cut time and anxiety out of the process for some clients. For properties in most parts of the country, EXOS Title can tell lenders instantly whether a property is headed into a fast, average or slow swim lane, in terms of clear to close. As lenders adopt this technology, their originators will be able to confidentially give a clear-to-close client a more precise window in which the loan is expected to close.

Our EXOS Close technology lets the customer select the time and location of the closing, using a mobile device or computer. The digital experience is like one provided by EXOS Valuations. It shows real calendar availabilities (not possible dates or time ranges.) The technology can support traditional face-to-face closings, as well as hybrid and remote closing options in jurisdictions that permit them. The app includes a customizable survey to gauge consumer satisfaction with this step of the mortgage.

The self-service capabilities that EXOS supports reduces time to close. In a recent pilot, consumers who scheduled their own closing via an EXOS mobile application or website were able to schedule and receive a confirmed appointment in less than two minutes. On average, their loans closed 2 days faster. 70% of consumers selected the first day presented to them to sign – a behavior which further reduces origination timelines.

When used as a holistic solution, the EXOS suite of applications dramatically accelerates closing timelines. A lender who used both EXOS Title and EXOS Close realized closings that were 10 days faster than lenders who were not. Add those savings to those from consumer appraisal scheduling, and our technology has the potential to normalize application-to-closing timelines, even during the busiest periods.

Learn more about how EXOS supports lenders striving to provide an exceptional consumer experience through every step of the mortgage journey at

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