The cost and savings of digital payments
One of our most common questions is, “How much does Earnnest cost?” Earnnest is absolutely free for real estate agents and escrow holders to use with a convenience fee charged to homebuyers. Not only does Earnnest not cost real estate professionals anything to use — it actually provides savings! Below are the most common ways Earnnest users see the savings stack up.
Added value for agents
Agents using Earnnest see savings in time and resources. They’ll eliminate the hours spent scheduling meetups with clients for the earnest check handoff. (Not to mention the gas savings.) No more driving to pick up and drop off paper checks. Sending a digital earnest payment request with the free Earnnest App takes an average of 90 seconds to complete. And agents can request from anywhere: the office, home, or even on vacation.
Remember the time it used to take to coordinate earnest deposit paperwork like copies of checks and receipts? Now those documents are handled automatically by Earnnest. We email receipts to buyers, escrow holders, and anyone else agents indicate leading to even less time spent pushing around piles of paper. Plus, the Earnnest App lets agents track the progress of each buyer’s earnest payment from initiated to deposited all from their smartphone. That means a lot less follow up needed on the agent's end.
Added value for escrow businesses
Businesses who hold escrow — such as attorneys, title companies, and brokerages — will also reap the benefits of digital payments. It doesn’t cost anything for an escrow-holding business to register their accounts with Earnnest, but the savings start immediately.
As the saying goes: “time is money”. One of the ways Earnnest users recapture time is by drastically simplifying their bank reconciliation process. Earnnest provides detailed payment information (like address and unique payment ID) with each transaction. This means reconciliation can be completed more quickly and accurately than with check payments where the memo lines are often left blank.
In addition, many banks charge fees for receiving earnest deposits via incoming wire. By using Earnnest’s digital payments, escrow-holding businesses completely eliminate wires and thus incoming wire fees. Escrow businesses can look forward to saving on every transaction paid using Earnnest.
Added value for homebuyers
Earnnest charges a convenience fee to homebuyers to move their real estate payment from their bank to the escrow holder’s account. This fee is comparable to a cashier’s check and less than the cost of most wires which generally range from $25-30 according to BusinessInsider.com. Plus, with Earnnest, homebuyers don‘t need to leave work or home to initiate their payment at the bank. Paying their earnest money deposit from anywhere is a way to add convenience and save buyers time.
The biggest way homebuyers save is by removing the risk of check fraud and wire fraud. A transaction compromised by check or wire fraud can cost the buyer everything. Earnnest’s secure digital payment system verifies both sending and receiving accounts so that criminals cannot insert themselves in the payment process. By eliminating checks and wires completely, Earnnest’s digital payments eliminate the possibility of check and wire fraud for the homebuyer. We’ve completed over 180,000 transactions, moving more than $1 billion, with zero instances of fraud. It can be hard to place a value on security, but from the homebuyer’s perspective, that level of peace of mind is priceless.