Some of the country’s largest real estate companies have joined Bank of America’s Preferred Real Estate Broker Network and signed onto the company’s online Real Estate Center.

Weichert Realtors, Prudential California Realty, Allen Tate Realtors and Baird & Warner are now providing access to their online listings to customers visiting the bank’s Web-based Real Estate Center, the bank announced Friday.

The Bank of America Real Estate Center can be accessed from the home page of the bank’s Web site, At the site, home buyers and sellers can calculate interest rates, compare mortgage products, estimate monthly mortgage payment amounts, search local MLS property listings in select markets, estimate home values, and search bank-owned property listings.

The Real Estate Center’s listings are provided through the bank’s preferred network of real estate brokers, which has expanded with the addition of Weichert and others announced Friday.

There are no referral fees attached to the Real Estate Center, which launched in September 2004.

“The success of the site in its first nine months demonstrates the benefit to consumers and our collective businesses of working together to simplify the process for the home buyer,” said Steve Ozonian, Bank of America Homeownership Services Executive.

“We are going beyond the traditional approach with real estate brokers and home builders,” he added. “We will bring to these relationships the resources of Bank of America and our broad customer reach combined with the knowledge each organization has about the local markets we operate in.”

The online Real Estate Center has positioned Bank of America closer to the point of purchase with real estate consumers. The bank has millions of customers who move every year, Ozonian previously told Inman News, and they visit banking centers and the Web site in search of more information and help with the home-ownership process.

Lenders spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to get as close as possible to the point of purchase in the real estate transaction. Many large banks attempt to access the consumer by leveraging their brand, rather than referrals from real estate agents. Many have branches throughout the country where borrowers can apply for mortgages, or set up their Web sites so people can apply for mortgages online.


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