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Lenders work to become first point of contact in real estate transactions

Real estate agents are uniquely positioned to guide home buyers through the purchasing process, but mortgage lenders are working hard to become the first point of contact when people go to buy a home. Consumers usually approach real estate agents first, who help guide them to other professionals who can help, including mortgage lenders, title companies and others. RESPA, the Real Estate Settlement Act, aims to protect consumers by ensuring that real estate agents and lenders aren’t paying each other referral fees. The goal is for consumers to be directed to service providers based on the quality of their services, not on hidden payments.

If you’re one of our clients, you receive monthly updates from Homebot that show you an estimated value of your home. Yesterday, Homebot, a Denver-based company, announced that they’ve purchased NestReady, which aims to place “mortgage lenders at the center of the journey so they become the trusted brand for every homebuying need.”

From Homebot’s press release:

NestReady is a powerful platform that brings all parties in the home-buying process together and makes mortgage lenders the trusted brand for every home buying need…

NestReady’s platform allows financial institutions to provide a complete white-labeled home-buying experience on their website and empowers each loan officer with their own home search engine.

Real estate agents aren’t going anywhere, whether lenders are the first people buyers contact or not. We offer our clients unique insight into the market that lenders don’t have. Agents who work with buyers, for example, can go inside 50 or 60 homes a month. That type of inside knowledge, combined with good data, isn’t something a lender can provide. We know neighborhoods, schools and amenities. We’re involved in negotiations with sellers (when we work with buyers and as sellers’ agents) so we know how negotiations work in a way lenders can’t. While we value lenders, we don’t think they’re able to play the same role as real estate agents.

It will be interesting to watch how this evolves. We do think many lenders will succeed and become a major influence in how the practice of real estate changes over time.

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