Housing MarketMortgageOrigination

Rocket Mortgage to buyers: Use a partner agent, save big on closing costs

A homebuyer who puts 5% down on a $350,000 purchase would save nearly $5,000 on closing costs

Rocket Mortgage is throwing a big incentive at spring homebuyers, offering them up to $10,000 in closing cost credits if they work with a real estate agent through its affiliate, Rocket Homes.

Through Rocket’s new “BUY+” program, clients who obtain purchase financing from Rocket Mortgage and find a home with a Rocket Homes partner real estate agent, will receive a credit equal to 1.5% of their loan amount to put toward closing costs, helping defray upfront costs.

For example, a homebuyer who puts 5% down on a $350,000 home would have a loan of $332,500. If they work with a Rocket Homes partner agent, they’d receive nearly $5,000 toward their closing costs. (To receive the full $10,000 closing credit, a buyer would need to receive a mortgage north of $666,000.)

“There are way too many people across the country who are looking forward to buying a home – and could comfortably make the monthly payments – but are still on the long road to saving for the upfront costs,” said Bob Walters, CEO of Rocket Mortgage. “With BUY+, Rocket Mortgage is making this process a lot easier to achieve, lowering a hurdle for those who are ready for a home of their own.”

Rocket says there are more than 20,000 partner agents through its Rocket Homes business.

Borrowers who opt to use their own agent can also qualify to receive a smaller closing credit if the agent refers them to Rocket Mortgage, equal to 0.25% of their loan amount. Those borrowers are eligible to receive an additional 0.5% lender paid credit if they use Rocket Mortgage’s verified approval or RateShield letter.

Rocket, which was displaced as America’s largest mortgage lender by rival United Wholesale Mortgage in the third quarter of 2022, is working to incentivize home sellers, too. Through the “SELL+” offer, sellers listing their home for sale with a partner agent through Rocket Homes will receive a rebate check for 1% of the sale price from Rocket Homes after closing.

The Detroit-based lender is launching a number of products to boost its purchase business in a high-rate environment. Rocket recently launched a credit card that targets first-time homebuyers. The credit card, which is integrated with Rocket Money — a personal finance app that identifies recurring expenses, notifies members about upcoming bills and cancels subscriptions — is in line with the Detroit-based company’s goal of becoming a fintech firm.

The company in November introduced Rocket Rewards — a loyalty program that distributes points toward financial transactions across the Rocket platform for potential homebuyers. In turn, homebuyers can use points to get discounts on their closing costs in the future.  

Rocket posted a $197 million adjusted net income loss in the fourth quarter, its second consecutive quarterly loss. The lender originated $19 billion in mortgages in the fourth quarter of last year, a 26% decline from the $25.6 billion in the third quarter.

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