MetroList Gives Agents Powerful New Mortgage Affordability Tool
Agents using RatePlug technology report faster sales cycle, provide better data to buyers
Naperville, IL (Chicagoland) - August 24, 2016 - For the first time, MetroList agents and homebuyers will be able to view on MetroList - their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) - total monthly housing payments for every property listed for sale, including current mortgage rates, taxes, assessments, and home owners insurance information.
MetroList Services Inc., the largest MLS in Northern California has released RatePlug's new mortgage technology to its more than 17,000 real estate brokers and agents in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Western Merced Counties. RatePlug brings mortgage transparency to the home buying process, helping buyers better understand affordability issues at the very beginning of the home searching process, and it helps consumers "buy local," as local lender data is provided by mortgage providers. RatePlug has become the nation's leading mortgage technology integrated into the MLS and is now available to more than 60 percent of all real estate agents and brokers in the U.S. - or nearly 750,000 REALTORS nationwide.
"MetroList agents can now provide homebuyers a clear picture of what they really can afford upfront and as they are viewing a property," said Dave Howe, Director of MLS Operations at MetroList. "Setting accurate consumer expectations will help buyers and real estate agents reduce the number of surprises that can come from purchasing a home."
RatePlug CEO Brad Springer says, "Consumers love doing online comparisons - 'what if' scenarios - looking at different interest rate and mortgage products. It's one of the most used features RatePlug offers. And because all the property costs are up-to-date and mortgage rates are provided in real time, buyers get better, more accurate data as well." And because RatePlug is dynamic, homebuyers stay on the agent's listing longer, as Springer says average homebuyers spend up to 6 minutes more viewing an MLS listing featuring RatePlug than one without.
Springer also notes that agents using RatePlug get another a big bonus. "Our research shows that agents who use RatePlug experience a faster sales cycle, as the list date to contract date is shortened by 14%," Springer says.
The regulatory environment within the real estate industry is complex and fluid - from the massive record-keeping requirement of the FTC MAP rules, to all of the changes that have come with TRID. The RatePlug compliance tracking feature gives brokers peace-of-mind in an area that can quickly become a slippery slope if you don't have the right lender partner.
Springer adds that real estate agents like being able to feature local area lenders: the ones they actually work with, know and recommend. "Most property listing search sites will display lenders the agent has never heard of, much less worked with," Springer says. "RatePlug helps local homebuyer 'buy local,' as the agent can select a lender - or lenders -- that they work with regularly.
"RatePlug helps provide more transparency to the home buying process when it comes to affordability," said Springer, "and we make this powerful, yet incredibly easy-to-use mortgage technology, free to every MLS." Springer explains that RatePlug is made available to real estate agents through their local MLS as a benefit covered by their dues or fees, and that RatePlug does not charge individual real estate agents a fee. Local mortgage loan officers pay for the service and can select from packages that range from $59 a month to $435 a year. Each package allows the loan officer to work with as many agents as they want. There is a one-time $35 set up fee that applies to all packages. MLSs, lenders, real estate brokerages and agents interested in RatePlug can learn more at www.RatePlug.com or call toll-free 1-877-710-0808.
About MetroList Services, Inc.
MetroList Services Inc., the largest multiple listing service in Northern California, is headquartered in Sacramento, the California state capital. Formed in 1985 by the Sacramento Association of REALTORS, the Placer County Association of REALTORS and the El Dorado County Association of REALTORS, MetroList's ownership group has grown to include the Lodi Association of REALTORS, the Yolo County Association of REALTORS, and California Real Estate Brokers, Inc. MetroList acts as a seamless real estate information network, serving some 17,000 real estate professionals in seven counties: Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Western Merced and Yolo.
Founded in 2003, RatePlug has become the nation's leading mortgage technology integrated into the MLS and is now available to more than 60 percent of all real estate agents and brokers in the U.S. - nearly 750,000 REALTORS nationwide. RatePlug educates buyers about affordability by providing crucial mortgage information at the beginning of their home search and helps home buyers "buy local," connecting them to local agents and loan officers. Homebuyers spend up to 6 minutes more viewing an MLS listing featuring RatePlug than one without. For loan officers, NAR research shows that 74% of homebuyers use the lender referred to by their REALTOR. Most importantly, agents using RatePlug sell homes faster, experiencing 14% fewer Days on Market (from list to contract date) than agents who do not use RatePlug. Lenders, loan officers, real estate brokerages, agents and MLSs can learn more about Naperville, IL-based RatePlug at www.RatePlug.com.