North Carolina Real Estate in 2020: Zillow, eClosings, and Wire Fraud

A man in a business suit typing on a computer.

The real estate industry is changing. As technology continues to become an integral part of everything we do, especially buying and selling homes, it’s going to play an ever increasing role in our real estate industry. From Zillow becoming a one-stop shop for real estate endeavors to the rise of real estate wire fraud, it’s important to stay on top of our changing industry.

Whether you’re a real estate agent, attorney, or another transaction agent, here’s what you need to know about the state of the North Carolina real estate industry in 2020.

The Rise of Zillow

We’ve covered this in depth, but Zillow’s infiltration of the real estate market is one of the greatest industry trends we’ve ever seen. If you’ve ever looked for a home online, you’ve probably used Zillow. It used to be the go-to website for home searching.

Today, it’s so much more. In addition to using Zillow to find homes for sale in your area—and access information about their location, construction details, pictures, and more—you can also use the site to sell your home.

Zillow’s Instant Offer program allows homeowners to quickly sell their home for cash. Zillow buys the home, performs some upgrades, and then sells it for a profit. We can only expect this trend to occur more frequently in 2020. In addition, Zillow recently acquired the brokerage Mortgage Lenders of America, which means it’s now adding “mortgage lender” to its repertoire.

Oh, and they’re also thinking about offering title insurance. But that’s still in the works.

Electronic Mortgage Closings

2019 was a big year for electronic closings, and 2020 shows no signs of slowing down! Electronic mortgage closings have a lot of benefits for the North Carolina homebuyer. Known as eClosings, electronic closings allow homebuyers to access more in-depth information about their lease online—making it easier for them to understand the process in its entirety.

eClosings also have significant benefits to real estate agents, attorneys, and title insurance agents. It simplifies the closing process and makes it easier to stay in compliance. For traditional closings, agents and attorneys were responsible for compiling all required documents and manually scanning them to be sent as emails to the necessary parties. With eClosings, everything is already online.

The Need for Extra Security Online

According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers lost an estimated 1.48 billion in wire fraud in 2018. Wire fraud is just one of many online “scams” that target home buyers and sellers across the country. Oftentimes, new buyers are scammed out of their entire down payment—but you can avoid wire fraud by staying alert.

Here are some tips for preventing wire fraud and maintaining online security during your real estate transaction:

  • Never wire money online to anyone—even if they claim to be your real estate agent
  • Never click on a phone number or email address within an email
  • Use two-factor authentication on your email account

Stay Up to Date on Title Insurance Best Practices with Tryon Title

As technology advances, it’s going to have an even greater impact on the real estate industry and how buyers obtain title insurance. That’s why it’s so important to partner with a title insurance agency with years of experience serving your community.

Here at Tryon Title, we have experience serving all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. When it comes to protecting your investment, rely on our team of title insurance professionals for a successful transaction.

Have a question about title insurance or the real estate industry in general? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call.