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DENVER – Buying and selling a home can be a daunting experience, but members of credit unions in Colorado may soon find the process less stressful. Nine area credit unions participated August 15 with the live introduction of a new online real estate and home rebate program, CU Realty of Colorado, that provides an end-to-end home buyer and seller solution – Credit Union Real Estate Home Rebate Program – and pays members a rebate figured on the home’s sales price. The nine credit unions participating in the launch of CURealty of Colorado were: Bellco CU, Public Service CU, Norlarco UC, U of C FCU, Premier Members (IBM), Credit Union of Denver, Denver Community FCU, Space Age FCU, and Colorado Central CU. The CUs have a combined member base of 500,000. CU Realty went live in Arizona in January 2002 and is operational with about 10 credit unions there such as Desert Schools FCU and Deer Valley CU. The Colorado solution is the result of a partnership between CU Realty and The Credit Union Indirect Lending Association (CUILA). Tami Anderson, president of CUILA said the association is trying “to expand members’ experience with home buying or selling over the Internet beyond the research process to include the closing process.” The service, she said, puts the home buyer or seller back in control of the process. CUILA Director of Marketing and E-Commerce Kirsten Pierce described CU Realty’s Credit Union Real Estate Home Rebate Program as “an opportunity for credit unions to increase their mortgage portfolios and to give their members the tools so that buying or selling a home is a non-stressful event.” Members of credit unions interested in purchasing a home, for example, can access CU Realty’s Credit Union Real Estate Rebate program through links on their credit union’s Web site, enter the specification of the home they’re interested in – square feet, number of rooms, style, neighborhood – and “visit” the home online. Once a member selects a home, they can apply for a mortgage loan with their credit union online The solution can also be accessed directly at www.curealty.com. At press time, Credit Union of Denver, Premier Members FCU, and U of C FCU already had a link on their Web site. The other six credit unions planned to have links on their site in the coming weeks. All agents that participate with the Credit Union Real Estate Home Rebate Program are referred to CU Realty by a participating credit union. Twenty-four realty agents are currently signed up on the program. Members get to choose which agent they want to work with, explained Pierce. At closing, an agent gives up a portion of their commission towards a rebate paid to the member of up to 1% of the home sales price on homes they sell or purchase. “A lot of agents like to steer buyers to a particular mortgage broker. The Credit Union Real Estate Home Rebate Program keeps the member’s mortgage with the credit union and lets the agent show the home and close the deal while earning the commission,” said Pierce. Beginning in September, CUILA will send out marketing pieces to credit union members about CU Realty’s Credit Union Real Estate Home Rebate Program. Commercials on the program are also scheduled to air on cable television the last two weeks of September and October. -

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