Tonight Zillow launched their “Mortgage Marketplace”.
Borrowers (and potential borrowers) be they looking to purchase real estate, refinance an existing loan or take out a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) can submit an anonymous request to multiple lenders by filling out a simple form.
I emphasize anonymous because if you’ve ever done any sort of “e loan” request for a mortgage quote, you know how relentless some of these folks can be. Trust me, I know. Your phone is likely to ring for months after you close of your loan.
Not so with Zillow’s Mortgage Marketplace.
Zillow’s system does not take your name, phone number, email or Social Security Number. Lenders get your request and respond with a detailed loan quote based on information you provide. You then log into Zillow and review the loan quote — which includes rate, APR, terms and cost. Then YOU decide if you want to contact the lender.
My first thought was how does a lender make a reasonable quote without a credit score? Simply enough, the potential borrower estimates a FICO score. I they don’t know, Zillow provides a credit score estimating tool.
I got a “sneak peak” of both the borrowers and the lenders side of the system this morning. Trust me, it’s anonymous. And it’s powerful.
Aside from the anonymous nature of the system, I thought one of the best features was that the lenders can see the other lenders quotes. This would seem to lead to a natural competition that would directly benefit the borrower.
This is information transparency at its best.
I can’t understand why any lender wouldn’t jump all over this. The one-time fee is $25 (to cover a background check / confirmation process). After that, the Mortgage Marketplace awaits you. Less than 25 minutes after launch, there were 41 user submitted quote requests.
And if you are in the market for a mortgage or a HELOC, it costs you absolutely nothing (other than 5 minutes of your time) to get multiple quotes from multiple lenders all competing to get you the best mortgage product — and they can’t hassle you. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain — multiple lenders, transparent information, anonymous quotes, complete control, contact who you want to, and don’t contact who you don’t.
Zillow hit a home run with this one.
More from Rich Barton, Zillow Founder, Chairman and CEO.