Have you ever purchased a home or refinanced a home? If so, you probably know what a time-consuming process it can be. It takes work to find and secure mortgage financing.
There seems to be an endless amount of phone calls and paperwork. And then there are the terms that you may or may not understand.
If you think the mortgage process should be easier, you might like Reali, formerly known as Lenda. The mortgage application process happens online and minimizes fees.
You can also use Reali to help sell your home with low commissions.
Reali is working to revolutionize the mortgage loan process by making the mortgage application process fast, simple and more affordable.
Ease of use
- Easy to use
- Works with real estate
- Not in all states
- Limited products
In This Article
Who is Reali?
Reali (pronounced as “really”) originally launched in 2013 as Lenda. The company rebranded in 2018 to its current name and is an online-only real estate app.
Its corporate headquarters are in San Mateo.
As Reali has California real estate experience, Californians have access to real estate agents to buy and sell homes in major California real estate markets.
Residents in twelve states can use Reali to get a new or refinanced mortgage.
You can use Reali for these real estate activities:
- Apply for a home mortgage
- Refinance a mortgage
- Buy a home
- Sell a home
- Trade-in a home
Reali is a direct lender to help you get a new home mortgage or refinance a mortgage.
Being a direct lender means Reali can reduce the closing costs for applying with a loan. If you use a mortgage broker or your local bank, they may charge a commission but have another lender underwrite the mortgage.
Lower mortgage rates can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage loan. Reali states that the average lifetime savings is $20,000 for customers.
Also, Reali can charge lower closing costs for homeowners selling their home.
If you’re hesitant to use an online-only mortgage lender, consider this. Reali currently has a 4.7/5 Trustpilot score (August 17, 2021).
How Reali Works
Reali makes the home loan process as easy as possible.
You can use Reali to get a new home mortgage or refinance a mortgage online.
Reali offers home mortgages in these 12 states:
If you don’t live in one of these states, there are other online mortgage lenders for you.
If you’re still looking for a home and live in California, a realtor with Reali can help you too.
After getting mortgage pre-approval with Reali, you can see their best loan offers with a guaranteed rate lock.
A dedicated loan officer will help you gather the necessary documentation to complete the application process.
The closing process can take place online using an online notary service.
As the application process is online and paperless, the processing times can be faster than applying for a mortgage in-person.
Online mortgages can be even quicker in the current environment when local mortgage lenders may work by appointment only to maintain social distancing.
You can submit all documents via computer or using the Reali mobile app.
If you need help, the Reali customer service center is available by phone from 9 am- 5 pm Pacific Standard Time, Monday to Friday.
Home Loan Options
The company handles both loans to purchase a home and home loan refinancing.
They process cash-out refinances too. This is good to know in case you’re looking to refinance in order to do improvements on your home.
The minimum down payment is 5% and applicants can have a minimum 620 credit score.
The new home mortgage and mortgage refinancing have fixed interest rates.
Fixed interest rates are available for the repayment terms:
- 10 years
- 15 years
- 20 years
- 30 years
Unfortunately, Reali doesn’t offer these mortgage loan types:
- Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM)
At this time, Reali only offers conventional mortgages. That is, mortgages with a fixed interest rate and not secured by a government agency.
Buying a Home
If you’re buying a home in California, Reali can provide you with a realtor and a home mortgage.
Reali operates in these California real estate markets:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco Bay
- San Jose
- Orange County
- Inland Empire
- San Diego
You can enter your zip code to connect with a Reali agent. The agent will tour homes with you that are available on Reali and your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings.
However, you won’t be able to use Reali for buying a home if you’re already working with a real estate agent.
The good news is that Reali can provide a mortgage once you find a home.
Buying a home through Reali can have some financial advantages.
One advantage is the Reali Rebate. You can get a cash rebate worth up to 1% of the home purchase price.
Homebuyers receive their cash rebate 5-7 days after the close of escrow.
As the Reali real estate agents work for a flat fee instead of on commission, Reali gives back some of the traditional realtor fees as a cash rebate.
It’s also possible for buyers to make contingency-free cash offers using Reali.
If the buyer doesn’t have the cash upfront, Reali can front a certain amount. Then, the buyer can pay Reali the cash amount in the near future.
Having this flexibility can improve the odds of the seller accepting an offer instead of trying to get a mortgage first.
You might consider making a cash offer if you have a high liquid net worth.
Selling a Home
Californians wanting to sell a home can pay lower commissions using Reali.
The seller’s fee is either 1%, 2% or 2.5%, depeding on the listing options.
Seller fees are usually 3% of the home selling price. In some instances, the seller may pay the entire closing cost which is up to 6% of the home sales price.
Here the three different Reali selling options.
The entry-level Essential service has a 1% selling fee.
A Reali agent will prepare your home to sell online at the Reali website and mobile app. Your house also lists on the relevant MLS listings for other realtors to see.
The standard Reali marketing package includes these perks:
- Professional photography
- Virtual home tour
- Floor plan
- Paid online advertising
- Two open houses
The mid-tier Concierge package has a 2% sellers fee.
Additional perks include:
- Professional home cleaning
- Reali-managed home staging
- Zillow 3D home tour
- Zillow Premier Placement
- Up to four open houses
The premium Trade-In package has a 2.5% fee.
Consider this option if you want to use Reali to sell your current home and buy a new home.
Choosing this option can help you pay minimum fees to sell and buy your home. You’ll be able to save thousands of dollars because of the reduced closing costs.
The Reali agent can help you find other homes for sale on the local MLS if there isn’t a Reali-sponsored home available.
How Does the Reali Loan Process Work?
Reali has created an online system that makes securing a home mortgage easier.
The Reali system is much simpler than it can be with a traditional brick-and-mortar lender. Here’s how the process works.
1. Start at the Home Page
You’ll start by going to the Realie home page or mobile app. You’ll answer some simple questions about the home you wish to purchase.
Or you’ll share information about your home refinance needs.
You’ll answer easy questions such as the purchase price of the home. Reali wants to know how much money you plan on putting down and your annual income too.
2. The Rate Quote Page
After you answer the initial loan questions you’ll create your account.
You’ll share an email address and create a password. This will help you to protect your information.
Finally, you’ll share your phone number. Doing so enables you to access the rate page and speak with a Reali loan professional.
3. Rate Comparison Page
The rate page is what you will see next. It will show you a variety of available rates and repayment periods.
The rates you see are based on the information you provided in step one.
Keep in mind that you won’t have to share your Social Security number yet. You’ll share your Social Security number and employer’s name later.
You don’t need that information to get your interest rate. Those steps will come later, after you decide to approve your offer.
By entering your credit score range, income and house information, Reali has enough data. They can let you know what types of interest rates you can pre-qualify for.
Not sure of your credit score? Check out Credit Karma and get your credit score for free.
4. Reali Suggestion Page
The Reali suggestion page is cool and here’s how it works.
After you enter your information you get a list of rates for your loan.
In addition, the suggestion page will give you additional loan tips. They’ll show you how you can lower the interest rate you would receive with Reali.
Yes, Reali shows you how you can save even more money.
As you provide additional details for Reali, the loan estimate becomes more and more accurate and thorough. The more details you share about your situation, the more accurate the rate and other loan information becomes.
Reali can give you very accurate information about potential interest rates. Even better, they can tell you more about the types of mortgage costs you’ll incur as well.
5. Official Application and Credit Check
If you like what you see up to this point, it’s time to fill out the official Reali application. At this time you’ll give approval for a credit check.
There’s no cost to borrowers for the credit check and no application fee. And the process for filling out an application is streamlined and simple.
6. Disclosure Document Generation
At this point, Lenda generates the disclosure documents required of mortgage lenders. They make it easy by letting you review and sign them all online.
Next, you’ll upload any documents Lenda needs.
7. Upload Your Documents
As part of the approval process you will receive a list of documents needed for final approval. This list might contain items such as copies of your last two paystubs. Or they might ask for copies of your tax returns.
It’s common for most mortgage lenders to ask for the same documentation.
You can upload the list of documents Lenda needs to have in order to complete your loan approval. And you can do this all from the comfort of your own home.
Once you complete this step, your loan application is sent off to the underwriting team for final approval.
You can check the status of your application anytime day or night. All you have to do is sign in with your e-mail address and password.
Or, if you’d like, you can call their customer service center for an update.
Who is Reali For?
Reali’s main customer base is people who have good-to-excellent credit records and higher incomes.
It also helps applicants to be tech-savvy and to have a knowledge of basic computer tasks.
If you fit these parameters, Reali is a good fit for you.
What’s Great about Reali
Reali has a lot of great features.
Here are a few of the best features:
- A variety of loan mortgage terms (i.e., 30-year, 20-year, 15-year and 10-year)
- Fast loan closing process. They average 32 days from application to close. In fact, they’ve closed loans in as little as 17 days.
- Low seller fees (1% to 2.5%)
- Cash rebate for home buyers (up to 1% back)
- Online-only application process
- Works with real estate investors (Can potentially refinance up to six properties for the same borrower)
Where Reali Could Improve
Reali won’t be the best mortgage provider for all homebuyers.
Here are several downsides of Reali:
- Mortgage loans only available in 12 states
- Can only buy or sell homes in California
- No FHA, VA or adjustable-rate mortgages
Borrowing for a home has always been a daunting process. This is true whether you need a purchase loan or a refinance loan.
Reali can streamline getting a mortgage and reduce closing costs.
Get preapproved for your mortgage loan today by visiting Reali online at www.reali.com.