To receive the most benefits from using RateBid®, we have provided a list of tips… but first, please describe yourself:
- If you are using a mortgage to buy a home, keep in mind that one of the most important factors that affects your mortgage interest rate, closing costs, and mortgage insurance is your loan-to-value ratio. This is calculated by dividing your loan amount by the lesser of the purchase price or appraised value. Generally speaking, mortgage rates, closing costs, and mortgage insurance change as the loan-to-value (often called “LTV”) ratio changes by 5% increments. For example, if you are interested in a home that you could likely purchase for $250,000 and you would like to make a down payment of $35,000. This means that you would need to apply for a mortgage loan in the amount of $215,000. When a lender looks at your data, your LTV is 86% (so your down payment is 14%). Any mortgage loan officer would certainly advise you to go ahead and try to make a full 15% down payment so your LTV becomes 85%. This means that you’d need to come up with another $2,500, but reaching that 85% LTV threshold can allow decrease your interest rate, closing costs, and / or mortgage insurance.
- Make sure and submit accurate data. Selecting a higher estimated credit score or home value will only result in RateBids from mortgage lenders that are not realistic for your specific scenario. You may be surprised at the types of loans that mortgage lenders can still approve, including loans with lower credit scores and little equity. Accurate data will get you accurate RateBids.
- Have a general idea of what mortgage lenders are currently requiring as far as credit, down payment, and equity, but don’t let this deter you from posting your purchase loan scenario or refinance loan scenario on RateBid® since it’s quick, easy, and you stay anonymous. Generally speaking, mortgage lenders want to see at least a 580 credit score, so if your credit score is not that high, then you may not receive very many RateBids from our network of mortgage lenders, but go ahead and post anyways, since there are still portfolio and hard money lenders that can make loans at their own discretion.
- Use the optional “Description/Comments” box to explain anything noteworthy about your scenario. Mortgage lenders need to know and verify tons of information before they can approve your loan, so if you have a unique employment situation, a unique property, or unique credit history situation, then use this box to disclose this information. While RateBid® attempts to collect just the minimum amount of information necessary for mortgage lenders to estimate interest rate, closing costs, monthly payment, and mortgage insurance, the more information you can post, the more accurate your RateBids will be.
- Once you have decided to proceed with a mortgage lender, go ahead and delete your RateBid® Request. This will stop mortgage lenders from bidding on your loan scenario, which will stop unnecessary notification emails and serves as a courtesy to our hard-working lenders (no need for them to bid on a loan that is no longer available!).
Now that you’re prepared, use the following buttons to proceed with your anonymous mortgage request!
Buy a Home
Refinance a Home
- If you are considering hiring a real estate agent to sell a home, be mindful of the market and season. If your house is bigger than most in your area, then this means that the pool of potential buyers that could afford to purchase your home is much smaller. Also, be mindful of the season. Depending on your geographic location, real estate sales are generally seasonal. During the holidays and especially when during a cold winter, fewer buyers are actively looking for real estate to purchase. This means that when you fill out your RateBid® Request form to sell your home, consider all of this when you choose the “length of listing” that you would be willing to give a real estate agent. Bigger homes during slow seasons simply require more time to sell.
- Make sure and submit accurate data. Significantly overestimating your home value, for example, will only result in RateBids from real estate agents that are not realistic for your specific scenario. Real estate agents are typically more willing to charge less for bigger homes in good markets, so if you want to get accurate RateBids from real estate agents then make sure that you submit accurate data.
- Have a general idea of what types of homes are likely to be easier for real estate agents to sell. If your house is very unique and / or in a market with very little real estate turnover, then you may not receive too many RateBids with discounted rates from real estate agents. Also, in some rural areas, there simply may not be very much competition between real estate agents, which can make it harder to receive RateBids that have discounted fees from real estate agents.
- Use the optional “Description/Comments” box to explain anything noteworthy about your scenario. Real estate agents need to know as much as possible about your home in order to sell it. While RateBid® attempts to collect just the minimum amount of information necessary for real estate agents to estimate their charges, the more information you can post, the more accurate your RateBids will be. Keep in mind that RateBid® does not ask for your property address so that you can remain completely anonymous. If you choose to disclose your property address in this box, then you run the risk of receiving sales (by using reverse address lookups) calls and junk mail.
- Once you have decided to proceed with a real estate agent, go ahead and delete your RateBid® Request. This will stop real estate agents from bidding on your request, which will stop unnecessary notification emails and serves as a courtesy to our hard-working real estate agents (no need for them to bid on a home that is already listed!)
Now that you’re prepared, proceed with your anonymous real estate agent request!
Sell a Home
- If you are a loan officer, make sure and rebid on mortgage loan requests as interest rates change (especially if they fall). Also, we have provided you with proprietary software that allows title / escrow companies to compete for any given loan, so review these title bids. You may find that using these title bids will allow you to decrease your closing cost estimate, thus allowing you to offer a more competitive RateBid®. Check back frequently for lower title bids so that you can lower your closing cost estimate accordingly. You may even find a better title company to start using for all of your clients through RateBid.com!
- If you are a real estate agent, remember that you may legally have the ability to earn referral fees from other real estate agents. When you see a new property that is not in your market, consider using the “refer” feature, which allows you to at least provide a referral to the homeowner. It is up to you to arrange any referral fee with the other real estate agent.
- If you are a title company, keep in mind that even if you do not end up with a particular transaction, each one of your RateBids can potentially be reviewed by multiple mortgage lenders and real estate agents. Each title RateBid® is “attached” and displayed to the lenders and real estate agents competing for each mortgage loan scenario or listing. This means that regardless of whether you are chosen to handle the transaction, you are increasing your brand to potential referral partners that are active in your market area just by bidding!
- If you are a home inspector, remember that you may legally have the ability to earn referral fees from other home inspectors. When you see a new property that is not in your market, consider using the “refer” feature, which allows you to at least provide a referral to the homeowner. It is up to you to arrange any referral fee with the other home inspector.
- For all vendor categories make sure that you make realistic RateBids. If there a concern about not having enough information to bid accurately, then use the “comments” box to send a message to the prospect. Our data shows that when vendors send realistic RateBids and use the optional “comments” box, it displays more effort, leads to more inbound calls and emails from prospects, and leads to a better feedback rating (which is tied to your profile). Sending unrealistic RateBids to prospects can have the opposite effect, and using a “bait and switch” method to get customers to contact you can get you banned from the website. All you have to do is be ethical!
Now that you’re all prepared to use RateBid® to get more clients, use the links below to register for your category!