Buying a home? There’s an app for that. Well, sort of...
A new online mobile web app, ExactDeposit, is a bid to make a home purchase as quick and easy as possible.
Created in Halifax, Canada, ExactDeposit allows homebuyers to use their mobile browsers and Visa, MasterCard or American Express cards to send the deposit on the home purchase to the real estate brokerage’s trust account in a matter of minutes.
The idea for ExactDeposit came several years ago, when co-founders Chris Ryan and Kevin Kline noticed how cumbersome the process of paying a deposit on a home is for everyone involved. Ryan, now a Realtor, and Kline both have backgrounds in technology and thought there had to be a better way.
“The average deposit around here is between $1,000 and $3,000. If that payment is not received by the brokerage by the time that’s specified in the agreement (usually 24 to 48 hours), then the agreement could be terminated,” Ryan told the Chronicle Herald.
Traditionally, the buyer writes a cheque to the Realtor, the Realtor physically delivers it to the brokerage and the brokerage puts it in its trust account and gets a bank receipt.
The problem, Ryan said, is that it’s a slow process, and with more reliance on technology for financial transactions, fewer people carry cheques. E-mail transfers are an option, but some brokerages won’t accept them, and most banks have limits on how much you can send that way.
Ryan and Kline teamed up with Dalhousie’s computer science department to build the the technology, and ExactDeposit was launched about a month and a half ago.
“With ExactDeposit (you) can pay your deposit in real time with the assistance of your Realtor. … The money is automatically sent to the brokerage it’s supposed to go to, it shows up in their trust account with full documentation, and takes the Realtor and homebuyer combined maybe 10 minutes,” Ryan said.
The charge shows up on the buyer’s credit card bill like any other transaction. In addition to being efficient, Ryan said the process offers the other benefits of a credit card transaction, such as security and rewards points.
So far, there are 13 participating brokerages in the program in Halifax.
Kline said they’ve had a number of transactions and great feedback so far, and have interest from real estate boards across the country. The next step for ExactDeposit is adding a debit option, something Kline and Ryan are in the process of developing.