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Earnnest recently announced it will extend its temporary lift on fees for homebuyers, which is in effect now through May 1.

Previously, the leading digital earnest money service had announced waiving fees through April 17, but extended it as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect daily life across the U.S.

“This latest fee-free extension is our way of telling the real estate community nationwide that we are here for them,” explained Rick Altizer, Earnnest CEO. “We recognize the widespread uncertainty around completing transactions right now; providing digital earnest money at no cost to anxious homebuyers is certainly one valuable piece of that puzzle.”

Earnnest is free to use for agents, brokerages, escrow holders and title attorneys, but now it’s free for homebuyers, too. The platform utilizes banking-level security and connects to every bank nationwide, sending automated receipts throughout the earnest money transfer to keep all parties updated on the status of the transaction.

The service has seen a significant uptick in user registration since announcing its brand-new self-registration feature and during the COVID-19 crisis, with user growth rising, on average, 253 percent in the past 40 days compared with the previous time period.

Earnnest also continues to grow through strategic partnerships with transaction management platforms like zipForm® Plus, where Earnnest is available to all users. Additional strategic partnerships for even greater availability of the service will be announced soon.

“Yes, Earnnest is a solution for right now as we navigate the business challenges presented by social distancing and stay-at-home orders,” Altizer said. “Even post-pandemic, digital transactions are the most safe and streamlined way to conduct business.”

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