FNB launches free valuation and stronger pre-approval tool
Home buyers have been doing things backwards all along: First they start with the home search and once they have signed the offer to purchase, find out if a bank is willing to finance their loan. This is according to FNB chief imagineer and former eBucks CEO, Jolandé Duvenage, who says consumers need a financial GPS to show them the shortest or fastest routes regarding their home buying journey.
“We want to put the customer back in the driver’s seat when they buy a home,” she said yesterday at the launch of nav>>, a digital tool which the bank believes its customers can use to find smarter ways of using their money. “We would like to help point our customers in the right direction when it comes to making wise financial decisions.”
The first phase of nav>> focuses on the home buying and selling process where nav›› Home customers can search for new homes, get free instant value estimates, pre-approvals, calculators and access to a database of home service providers.
The preapproval alone is different from what many other service providers, including banks, have been able to achieve to date and that is to incorporate credit bureau information together with what customers declare; this will provide a far more accurate and credible pre-approval with which customers can negotiate.
“There will, however, initially be no applications for loans via the app,” said Marius Marais, head of home loans at FNB. “We wanted to keep version 1.0 light and give customers the opportunity to provide feedback on what they do and do not like. But all the other features are available, including instant value estimates on properties, calculators and pre-approvals.”
Property Leader offers free area and property reports that are pulled from a number of sources, including the deeds office and the bank’s own valuation database.
Duvenage does not anticipate backlash from estate agents who generally provide valuation services for their clients, but believes it will benefit the consumer and the estate agency industry for each side to be better informed.
“nav›› Home gives customers control throughout the home buying or selling process and points out direct routes and clever shortcuts to navigating the home journey,” she said.
nav›› Home features
- Free instant value estimates of a home which will help customers know what the property is worth before they make any decisions.
- Assists with buying and selling a home and ensures that customers are not paying too much or selling for too little.
- Search for their perfect home with thousands of listed properties to look at (you are also able to search for homes “nearby” when you are in a specific area, making it easy when you want to search for properties close to work/schools or when you are driving around in an area you like).
Free area and property reports to help compare prices and neighbourhoods:
The Area Report offers inside information on a particular suburb from the average price of other homes in the selected neighbourhood, the average increase or decrease in property prices, the types of homes and profile of the buyers.
The Property Report provides a free estimated value of residential properties customers might be interested in. It includes the last bought and sold price as well as an estimated current value calculated. The report is very useful for both buyers and sellers for determining that final selling or offer price.
- Instant home loan pre-approval for qualifying clients which includes the maximum home loan they qualify for and the deposit needed.
- Calculators that work out the monthly instalment amount and also give an indication of all the other costs involved, including transfer fees and bond registration costs.
- Access to a database of home services in their areas, such as moving companies, plumbing services, landscapers and more.