Zillow launches pre-approval tool
Today, Zillow has launched their Mortgage Pre-Approval on Zillow tool, wherein home shoppers can find what the company calls “reputable lenders,” should they meet that lender’s guidelines.
The tool generates a mortgage pre-approval letter they can print and email in minutes. They call it a “first-of-its-kind tool,” giving buyers an edge in a market with continually tight inventory levels.
“In today’s competitive real estate market, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can mean the difference between getting the home that’s right for you, or losing it to some other buyer,” said Erin Lantz, senior director of mortgages for Zillow. “Until now, getting pre-approved was a daunting and time-intensive process. Mortgage Pre-Approval on Zillow makes it significantly easier for home shoppers, who can fill out one short online questionnaire, and get a pre-approval letter within minutes.”
Zillow says they have made mortgage pre-approval simple for users, by providing a safe, secure and easy online process. To begin, a borrower completes a short online questionnaire which asks for information including income, credit score, and monthly debt. They receive an estimated pre-approval amount, and can then continue the process by filling in their name, email address, and phone number. A lender is able to review a borrower’s inquiry immediately, pull the borrower’s credit score at their request, and if the borrower meets the lender’s guidelines, send them a pre-approval letter they can email or print.
How this benefits real estate as a whole
Although pre-approval letters are nothing new (at all), Zillow believes they have an edge in the rapid nature of their process. True or not, this is exactly how it will be marketed.
This tool is good news not just for the Zillow portfolio, but for real estate as a whole, as it is one more singer in the choir chanting for buyers to get pre-approved before they get in the car to look at that first home. It saves agents’ time, buyers’ time, sellers’ time, and lenders’ time if a buyer is fully informed and armed with their buying power.
Now imagine that Zillow puts the full force of their marketing budget behind this new tool (which we imagine they will), and you’ve got a win for the industry as awareness of the ol’ pre-approval letter is raised..