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Citi to prospect for borrowers on

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Citibank N.A. will get the first shot at providing a mortgage to prospective homebuyers visiting under the terms of a strategic marketing agreement announced by the companies today.

Emeryville, Calif.-based brokerage ZipRealty Inc. is integrating Citi’s online mortgage prequalification and loan application tools through multiple links on the website. Prospective homebuyers will be matched to customer service representatives "to guide them through the entire application process from prequalification to close," the company said.

With a dedicated call center and loan professionals in every ZipRealty market, the model allows Citi to offer homebuyers an on-time closing guarantee.

ZipRealty CEO Lanny Baker said in a statement that he is working with Citi’s mortgage team "on my own home buying transaction right at this minute, and I can personally attest to the outstanding quality of Citi’s service, competitiveness of their products and the real value of having my lender so closely connected to my ZipRealty agent and the whole transaction process."

ZipRealty, which terminated a previous marketing agreement with Bank of America in April, last month announced a new strategic alliance with mortgage bank New American Mortgage that allows the bank’s loan officers to operate in all ZipRealty company-owned offices in 20 markets around the country.

ZipRealty acknowledged today its alliances with both Citi and New American Mortgage, describing the relationships as "forming a dual platform to service its homebuyer’s needs."

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