California Regional Multiple Listing Service has added a down payment tool to its platform in an attempt to provide cash-strapped homebuyers in one of the least affordable states in the country with information about programs that may help them become homeowners.
CRMLS, the nation’s largest MLS at more than 110,000 subscribers, has integrated Down Payment Resource, a web-based tool that offers information about local and state down payment assistance programs, grants, affordable first mortgages and tax credits, into its property listing data.
Citing a LendingTree study, the MLS noted that 48 percent of renters are worried they’ll never be able to own a home and 54 percent said they couldn’t afford a down payment.
CRMLS estimates that about 60 percent of its residential listings may be eligible for one or more of these programs. The integration will flag eligible listings with a Down Payment Resource icon. Agents can then easily share this information with their clients, CRMLS and DPR said in a press release.
“We want to provide our users the best MLS experience available, and we saw Down Payment Resource as a product that offers a distinct value,” said CRMLS CEO Art Carter in a statement. “For the first time, our community of real estate professionals is empowered with a tool that helps them seek out down payment assistance programs.”
According to the release, while hundreds of millions of dollars in down payment assistance is available nationwide, it’s a challenge for agents and homebuyers to know the programs exist and understand their requirements and benefits. DPR tracks funding status, eligibility rules and benefits for more than 2,000 programs in 11 categories, the companies said.
“There are multiple consumer studies that demonstrate the dream of homeownership is alive and well, but the challenge of saving for a down payment can keep potential homebuyers on the sidelines,” said Rob Chrane, CEO of Down Payment Resource, in a statement.
“With DPR, CRMLS is providing a unique way to help its members and California homebuyers find affordable homes and down payment options.”
CRMLS also recently announced it had teamed up with startup RentSpree to give subscribers more and better access to rental technology. In addition, the organization signed off this month on a slew of changes to listings. Those changes dealt with how listing agents and brokers appear on online listing pages and stepped-up enforcement of pocket listing rules, among other things.