AOL Launches Online Real Estate Center Offering Instant Do It Yourself Searches of Over One Million Homes; AOL Members Discover What Mortgages They Qualify for in Minutes

March 20, 1998

Dulles, VA, March 20, 1998 - Millions of consumers can now turn to America Online to meet all their real estate needs, from investigating leads to buying, selling and financing. AOL, the world's leading Internet online service, announced today it has launched its new online Real Estate Center (keyword: Real Estate), a comprehensive resource that puts more choice in the hands of AOL members by better and more quickly informing them about their options when financing, buying or selling real estate. In the past, consumers relied on word of mouth, real estate agents, and old-fashioned detective work to find a new home or home loan, but now they can easily shop the AOL Real Estate Center. "There is a shift taking place in cyberspace. Consumers have more access to fundamental information and that means power in purchasing and financing," said Rob Shenk, Director of AOL's Personal Finance Channel, where the Real Estate Center resides. "Consumers are now able to find the best real estate deals in an incredibly convenient new way. We don't believe these helpful resources can be found in one easy package like this anywhere else." Working with respected real estate, mortgage and loan partners like the CENTURY 21(r) System, Intuit, Countrywide Home Loans and many others, AOL's Real Estate Center offers members top-notch information in one convenient place. The Real Estate Center is comprised of five categories, Looking, Selling, Renting, Moving, and Financing, to quickly give AOL members easy and direct access to loan information, financial calculators, and over a million home listings, among other resources. Looking: Buying a home is for most households the most expensive and daunting financial transaction of their lives. AOL's Real Estate Center makes every step of this process easier beginning with Looking for that house. AOL members now have the advantage of narrowing down their search for a new home in a new city without having to travel there. Looking supplies over a million home listings and real estate agency contacts. Financing: QuickenMortgage makes the ordinarily laborious process of researching mortgage loans one of the easier parts of moving. Financing allows members to easily shop and pre-qualify for loans with leading lenders, find what loans and loan agents are available to them, and choose the best one saving valuable time and money. Members are also informed when variables in the economy suggest refinancing will save money. Selling: Here members receive advice on selling their homes, new tax law information and how it affects home sales, access to AOL Classified home listings and more. Renting: Over 500,000 rental units are listed through AOL's partnership with Apartments.com. In addition, SmartCalc and Intuit calculators help members compare the benefits of owning versus renting. Moving: Useful information like neighborhood schools, churches, crime rates and cost of living changes can all be found in Moving. This area also suggests moving timelines to make the process of moving run smoothly. The Real Estate Center is one of the most successful centers launched on AOL. "It's clearly a service consumers have been looking for," said Shenk. "The recent resurgence in re-financing due to low interest rates has dramatically increased member demand for real estate information."

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