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Survey: Realtors Prefer to Shop for Closing Services Online

Seventy percent of Realtors are interested in using a one-stop online shopping source for real estate closing services, according to a ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org (NAR) survey of nearly 2,000 Realtors. In addition, 71 percent said they would be likely to refer clients to a neutral site unaffiliated with their agency, to find and compare real estate closing costs.
Nearly all Realtors in the survey (97 percent) said that saving their clients' money without sacrificing quality or reliability is important. Most also said that value and local reputation were the top factors they consider when selecting title insurance companies for their clients. Value, reputation, and personal relationships were the top three factors cited for choosing an escrow or settlement service.
NAR's survey, which underscored the influential role that Realtors play in the selection of real estate closing providers, found that Realtors recommend a limited number of settlement service providers to their clients. Fifty-nine percent refer only one or two escrow services to clients, and 58 percent refer one or two title insurance companies.
The survey found that Realtors under forty years of age are significantly more interested in using interactive features to help their clients shop for closing services. These include the ability to send a list of preferred service providers to clients, having a site integrated with their multiple listing service so they can estimate closing costs for any listing, using discount coupons and e-commerce rates, and providing a free online closing cost calculator.
NAR's survey of 1,929 Realtors was conducted earlier this year for ""ClosingCorp"":http://www.closingcorp.com , an independent real estate information services provider based in La Jolla, California. ClosingCorp has developed an online resource for real estate closing services - ""Closing.com"":http://www.closing.com* - which allows consumers and real estate professionals to shop, compare, and evaluate closing service providers in their geographic area.
Closing.com is currently in beta release and is scheduled for general release this summer. It gives visitors access to more than 150,000 vendors offering services in 11 categories, including title insurance, escrow/settlement services, closing attorneys, home warranty services, appraisers, home and pest inspectors, and notary services.
According to ClosingCorp CEO Tony Farwell, Closing.com will fill the needs of agents and brokers looking to save money on closing costs without compromising service. ""Closing.com, with its one-stop access to real estate closing services, will give Realtors a powerful competitive advantage by augmenting their value to clients,"" Farwell said.
_(*Closing.com is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by the National Association of Realtors.)_

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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