Redfin Mortgage expanding to Illinois

Online real estate brokerage rolled out mortgage lending in Texas earlier this year

Redfin’s play to become a true digital "one-stop shop" for homebuyers is about to take another step forward.

Earlier this year, Redfin rolled out a mortgage lending business, launching Redfin Mortgage in Texas.

Now, Redfin is expanding Redfin Mortgage into Illinois and has plans to keep growing.

Redfin announced Monday that it’s adding Illinois as Redfin Mortgage’s second state. Redfin also announced that it expects to expand its lending operation again later this year into Virginia, and plans to add more markets in 2018.

Redfin Mortgage currently offers 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages and adjustable rate mortgages, along with fully underwritten pre-approvals.

“In the current competitive real estate market, a fully underwritten pre-approval gives the homebuyer an edge by earning the seller’s confidence that the loan will be approved quickly and the sale will close on time,” Jason Bateman, head of Redfin Mortgage, said. “In a bidding war, a buyer with a fully underwritten pre-approval can consider waiving the financing contingency to make their offer nearly as appealing to a seller as an all-cash offer.”

Redfin Mortgage also touts its “low rates,” which are achieved by using “technology to streamline the lending process.”

Redfin already offers digital-focused real estate brokerage and title businesses, and the company’s mortgage business is an attempt to touch every piece of the real estate transaction.

According to the company, Redfin Mortgage will “will primarily serve homebuyers who choose to work with a Redfin agent as Redfin Mortgage is built to seamlessly integrate with the Redfin brokerage operation and, when desired, Title Forward, Redfin’s title and settlement company.”

But the company notes that there are “no incentives” for Redfin real estate agents to recommend a Redfin mortgage. Redfin agents will “continue to encourage customers to work with the lender that offers the best combination of service and rates,” the company said.

While there is not a direct monetary connection between a Redfin agent offering a Redfin mortgage, the company does claim that homebuyers who use all of its various services will save money.

“By integrating an affiliated lending operation with Redfin's existing brokerage and title businesses, Redfin is working towards the ultimate goal of an entirely digital process — from loan application to closing — with better service and lower fees,” the company said in a release. “Building on Redfin’s existing technology platform and customer-centric model, Redfin Mortgage aims to be the fastest and most transparent way for homebuyers to receive a quote, become pre-approved for a home loan and submit a compelling offer to buy a home.”

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