(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (io) Pub. No.: US 2004/0049450 Al
Lussler (43) Pub. Date: Mar. 11,2004
(54) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR
COORDINATING REAL ESTATE CLOSING
(76) Inventor: Sherin B. Lussler, North Providence, RI (US)
Norma E. Henderson
Hinckey, Allen & Snyder LLP
43 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301-4934 (US)
(21) Appl. No.: 10/655,356
Related U.S. Application Data
(60) Provisional application No. 60/407,715, filed on Sep. 4,2002. Provisional application No. 60/459,173, filed on Mar. 31, 2003.
(51) Int. CI.7 G06F 17/60
(52) U.S. C I 705/38
Real estate closing service providers are matched with customers according to multiple predefined criteria, allowing the customer to choose from a list of matching service providers that have been pre-approved by the lender. The method is advantageously implemented by performing many of the steps via the Internet and with the assistance of appropriate computer software, but may be implemented utilizing any other suitable means. In one embodiment, a service provider coordinator coordinates the matching of customers and service providers. Lenders provide the coordinator with lists of approved providers, service providers provide outlines of closing costs, discount incentives, and customer requirements, and customers provide closing information. The coordinator screens the requirements for each customer transaction type and matches the customer with appropriate service providers. The customer selects a service provider from the matches and informs the coordinator and/or lender of the choice. The coordinator then informs the service provider and/or the lender and coordinates the closing. Upon closing, the service provider, the lender, and/or the customer pay the coordinator a referral fee for its services. Information about the transaction, the offer, and/or the customer may be optionally stored for future use. In various alternative embodiments, a customer may initiate contact with the coordinator, a lender may act as an intermediary between a customer and the coordinator, a lender may initiate contact between a customer and the coordinator, and/or a service provider may utilize the coordinator as a source of prescreened business.