Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Title Report: Federal Title provides GFE quote guarantee to mortgage lenders

Lenders navigating new RESPA rule are being encouraged to rely upon the accuracy of Washington, D.C.-based Federal Title & Escrow Co.’s online quote system to prepare their Good Faith Estimate (GFE) forms.

“Our online quote is accurate to the penny, or we'll pay the difference,” company President Todd Ewing said.
Federal Title aims to take some of the pressure off of lenders with an accurate, online GFE-based quote system.

If a lender uses the system to prepare a GFE and winds up in violation of the tolerance limitations, Federal Title will pay the difference between the quote and the final HUD-1 executed on the day of settlement, Ewing said.

The promise is called the Zero Tolerance Guarantee and it specifically covers HUD-1 series line items 1100 and 1200, also known as "title charges" and "government recording and transfer charges," which include transfer and recordation taxes, recording fees and title insurance premiums.

As the RESPA final rule aims at transparency, the title insurance industry is beginning to shift toward the same business model Federal Title adopted some time ago, Ewing said.

"Lenders are not only seeking instant, electronic quotes for title work that don't throw off any specified tolerances, they've come to expect them," he said. "With so much information available through a few taps of the keyboard, who wants to call up and ask for numbers?"

Google for Real Estate Agents

Before a customer ever picks up the phone to ask for your business, chances are she spent a sizeable chunk of time investigating her needs and your services online.

Today more than ever, potential homebuyers are using search engines, particularly Google, to find anything from a reputable real estate agent to their next (or first) dream home.

To help you connect with homebuyers, check out Google for Real Estate Professionals [ ], a wonderful toolkit where you'll find just about everything you need to make sure potential clients find you on the World Wide Web.

For example, with Google Maps [ ] homebuyers can view a property from a bird's eye or street view, explore traffic and public transit information and, perhaps most importantly, learn how to get in touch with you. All you have to do is upload your listings.

Once you finish uploading, take a couple extra minutes to explore the Local Business Center [ ], where you can claim and manage your business listing.

YouTube [ ] is a great way to showcase not only your listings but your business as well. Post a testimonial video from a happy homebuyer or an informative piece that explains a tricky aspect of the homebuying process. Let your potential clients get to know you by guiding them on a walk-through of your newest property listing.

All services in the Google for Real Estate Professionals toolkit are fairly easy to figure out, and just about all are completely free to use.