WAV Group has drafted a white paper – “Potential New Role for the MLS” – outlining the potential for MLSs to expand their relevance, especially for top producers by finding ways to encourage clients to pre-qualify for a mortgage before working with a REALTOR®. Some of the most innovative MLS organizations provide their subscribers with a tool that educates homebuyers on home affordability working in conjunction with their members’ lender(s) of choice.

In the view of Marilyn Wilson, founding partner of the WAV Group and author of the white paper,  the ideal system sources specific loan products for each property and helps the buyer see what the principal and interest and real estate taxes and homeowners insurance, assessments and Private mortgage insurance (PITI) amounts are on a monthly basis for each home they view.

The Lender will use this PITI to underwrite and assess if the buyer can afford that particular home. This process occurs at the beginning of the search process and helps establish an affordability range for an Agent and Buyer BEFORE spending time visiting homes. The system will also recognize if niche loan options exist for each property, such as first time homebuyer programs, government programs or special down payment options.

WAV Group conducted a MLS Technology Adoption Study in 2012 that highlighted the most used technologies according to practicing agents and brokers. Mortgage Payment / Closing Calculators, Showing Appointment Software and Transaction Processing tools like Document Management and Electronic Signatures headed the adoption curve according to respondents from 27 MLSs across the country. If MLSs are looking to offer meaningful solutions that are not perceived as “playing field levelers”, these three categories are probably the best ones to pursue.

Playing a more active role in helping agents to pre-qualify their clients and increase the likelihood of a successful mortgage application can significantly increase the revenue potential of MLS subscribers. While many MLSs are careful not to level the playing field, this is an area where everyone wins and, in fact, larger brokers with mortgage companies can benefit even more than average.

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