The List and Lock program allows sellers to lock in below-market interest rates for potential homebuyers. Sellers may be able to save money by offering the lower rate in lieu of reducing their sales price. 

The List and Lock program may also expedite the home selling process by attracting more buyers. This program is niche program and not a common loan product. The Mortgage Mark Team is happy to help sellers and buyers with this program. 


Mark Pfeiffer

Branch Manager
Loan Officer, NMLS # 729612

List and Lock Program

The List and Lock program is a fantastic program when interest rates rapidly increase, and higher mortgage payments become a barrier to purchase. The “trick” is that the sellers are using seller concessions to buy down the buyer’s interest rate BEFORE actually finding a buyer. 

With the List and Lock loan program, sellers can advertise locked-in interest rates on their listings. This will garner the attention from prospective buyers and may help the home sell faster. Because the interest rate is below market, a buyer can save money by paying less interest.

Another advantage to the List and Lock program is that it increases the pool of buyers. Unlike temporary 2/1 buydowns – which are also great tools for sellers – the List and Lock program is a permanent rate buydown. This means the future homebuyers need to get pre-approved with the Mortgage Mark Team using the lower monthly payment. 

The List and Lost program helps potential buyers qualify for a larger mortgage and gain more purchasing power because the lower interest rate reduces the buyer’s monthly mortgage payment. 

List and Lock Costs

There are two costs associated with the List and Lock program. The first cost is an upfront fee of $999 that is paid to the lender via credit card when the rate is locked. The second cost are seller concessions that are used to buydown the interest rate for the buyer.

Upfront Fee

The List and Lock fee is a one-time charge of $999. This fee is refunded after closing when the homebuyer closes with the Mortgage Mark Team

The fee can be paid by the seller or a Realtor. The fee is paid via credit card when the lock is executed. 

The reason the $999 fee exists is because lenders incur costs when they lock interest rates. This $999 help cover a portion of that cost. 

The one-time fee of $999 for the List and Lock is refunded when a home buyers uses the Mortgage Mark Team for financing. The fee will be refunded to the credit card that was used to pay for the lock. This is typically done a few days after closing. 

Concessions for the Rate Buydown

The seller concessions are determined by the seller. It’s recommend that a seller “price in” the cost of the List and Lost when determining their asking price.

In other words, determine how much seller concessions are to be given and then add that to the sales price.   

The List and Lock program has a minimum requirement of 1% seller concessions and a maximum of 3%. For example, a seller can do a 2% concession on a $400,000 home and pay $8,000 to buydown the buyer’s rate. 

Note: there are exceptions if a seller want to contribute more than 3%. Please contact us to discuss larger seller contributions. 

It’s worth noting that the seller concession are paid at closing and funding and are netted from the seller’s proceeds. Meaning, there’s zero risk of these “costs” being charged to the seller before closing. 

It’s worth repeating: the only time the seller parts with the seller concessions is when the sale is finalized. There’s absolutely zero obligation for the seller to pay the seller concessions in advance of closing. 

Lock Period

The initial rate is locked for 60 days. This means that once the List and Lock rate is locked, the loan needs to close within 60 days. 

A buyer can extend the locked-in rate (at their expense) for an additional 30-days. This ultimately provides a total of 90 days to get the home sold and closed once the rate is locked.  

The upfront fee of $999 is not refunded if the lock expires. 

How to Lock the Rate

Locking in an interest rate for the List and Lock program is very simple. A lock can be completed in less than three minutes. 
Here’s how to lock in the interest rate:
  1. First, visit our List & Lock website.
  2. Then, enter the property address, sales price, and concessions amount (1% to 3%)
  3. Finally, provide a credit card for the $999 fee and lock the rate. That’s it.

Another feature of the List and Lock program is the marketing materials provided. Sellers are provided payment flyers, a custom video, a property website, and a sign rider to advertise the home and the locked rate. These benefits are covered below in greater detail. 

family in a modern, white kitchen with food on the counter

Sellers Avoid Price Drops and Save Money

The List and Lock program can help a seller avoid price drops, thereby saving the seller money. Often time it’s more economical (for both the buyer and the seller) to offer the List and Lock as opposed to reducing the sales price. 

A listing is most visible to prospective buyers when it’s first listed; therefore, don’t procrastinate. Lock in an interest rate for the buyer as soon as possible.

A locked interest rate will allow sellers to advertise with real numbers and answer every buyer’s question: “what’s my payment?” Buyers want to know about interest rates, but they care about payments. 

Dropping a sales price is suboptimal. A price drop gives the house a stigma that house has issues or that the seller is desperate. 

List and Lock Scenarios

Pricing the home accurately and offering an incentives, like the List and Lock, will help avoid price drops and potentially save the seller money. 

Below are examples of how both parties – sellers and buyers – can benefit from a rate buydown compared to a lower purchase price.

Scenario #1

In the scenarios below, a potential homebuyer with a 740-credit score is putting 3% down for a down payment. The listed price of the home is $590,000.

The seller is considering lowering the price by $20,000. The graphic below illustrates the benefit of the List and Lock.

The left column shows what the payments could be without a buydown. The middle column shows the buyer’s loan terms with a $20,000 price reduction. Lastly, the right column shows the List & Lock program where the seller give 3% seller concessions.

When doing a 3% rate buydown (the right column) in lieu of the $20,000 price reduction (the middle column), the buyer saves $407 each month, or $146k over the life of the loan (compared to the full price listing with the List & Lock).

The seller also saves money in this scenario since the List and Lock costed $17,700 instead of a $20,000 price cut. 

It’s a win-win. 

Scenario #2

The graphic below shows the benefit of the List and Lock for a buyer with a 700 credit score and a seller considering a $20,000 price reduction.

The list price is $400,000 and the buyer is parting with 3% for the down payment.  In this scenario, the buyer saves $249 per month while the seller saves $8,000.

Another win-win. 

black piggy bank with coins

Marketing Materials

The List and Lock program is only valuable if potential buyers know about it. The great news is most of the marketing material are available immediately after locking in the interest rate. 

The four primary marketing tools recommended for the List and Lock program are:

  1. open house flyers that show the rate and payment options,
  2. a customized property website that promotes the List and Lock program, 
  3. a customized video that can be used on social media to promote the home and locked rate, and
  4. a lock certificate that confirms the locked rate for the potential buyers. 

See below for samples of these marketing tools. 

Open House Flyers

Sellers can download and print open house flyers to promote the List and Lock program. The flyers below show the rates for the various programs with different down payment amounts. 

Sign Riders 

Sign riders can be provided to promote the locked interest rate. The image below provides an example of a sign rider.

Property Website

The system will also generate a single property site for the listing that highlights the benefits of the locked rate. A QR code will be provided as well that directs potential buyers to the property’s site. The website can be used on promotional materials as well as on social media.

Note: the custom website won’t work if the home is located in a brand new development that is not listed with 911.

Custom Video for the Listing

Sellers can also request a customer property video and custom social posts. Pictures from the property’s MLS listing will be used in the video. Please reach out to the Mortgage Mark Team to initiate the video. 

Lock Certificate

A lock certificate is available once the List and Lock fee has been paid. This confirmation can be used on the sellers advertising and MLS listing. 

The lock confirmation page provides the lock certificate, a description for the MLS listing, and an open house flyer promoting the locked rate. The system will automatically generate an image with the “DISCOUNTED RATE” overlay.


FAQs for the List and Lock

Below are some frequently asked questions about the List and Lock program. Obviously these aren’t all encompassing; therefore, please contact us with any additional questions.  

Can the lock be transferred to another property? 

No. The locked interest rate cannot be transferred to another property address.

Can a seller extend the 60-day rate lock if a buyer has not been found?

No, a seller cannot extend the List and Lock interest rate if a buyer is not identified within the 60-day lock period. Only a buyer can extend the interest rate.

Can the seller lock in another List and Lock rate if the first one expired? 

Yes, a seller can purchase another List and Lock rate if their first one expired. The cost would be an additional $999. 

Note: if a buyer closes with the Mortgage Mark Team using the second List and Lock rate, only the the second fee is refunded. In other words, the initial $999 fee for the first lock does not get refunded since that lock expired.  

Does the List and Lock guarantee that a buyer will qualify for a loan? 

While the List and Lock program can help buyers significantly, it is not a guarantee to lend. If a buyer is interested in purchasing the listed home at the advertised rate, they must still qualify for the loan.

The benefit of the List and Lock program is that the buyer won’t have to qualify for the loan based on the higher market rates; instead, they will be qualifying on the already locked interest rate. 

The Mortgage Mark Team will help buyers get pre-approved and ensure a smooth and on-time closing. 

What loan programs are allowed with the List and Lock? Are VA and FHA loans options? 

The List and Lock feature works with conventional financing, FHA, VA, All In One Loan, and select adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). The list is lock program is not available for jumbo loans

What happens if rates drop after a seller locks the rate? 

A potential buyer is not mandated to use the List and Lock program. Meaning, a buyer can still lock in their own interest rate if the current market conditions are better than when the seller locked the List and Lock.  

The List and Lock fee of $999 will still be refunded if the buyer locks their own interest rate and closes with the Mortgage Mark Team.

What’s the worst-case scenario for a seller?

The worst-case scenario is that a seller pays the $999 fee for the List and Lock, and the lock expires after 60 days. In this worst-case scenario, the seller is out the $999.

Even in this worst-case scenario, the bright spot is that the marketing and promoting of the List and Lock program should bring additional exposure to the property during those 60 days.   

Do other lenders offer the List and Lock program?

Obviously it’s impossible to know every program available from every lender. What we do know is that this is a niche program that we created and fills a need for sellers. 

What if the seller’s property is an investment home? Or a vacation home? 

The List and Lock program can be used for both rental properties as well as vacation homes. The “catch” is that the rates that will be advertised will be shown for owner occupied home loans.

Should an investor purchase the property, the investor can use the List and Lock rate but there will be adjustments made to pricing (or to the closing costs) because of the occupancy type.  

Can a Realtor pay the upfront fee? Can the Agent and Seller split the fee?

Yes, the fee can be paid for by the seller or the agent; however, only one credit card can be used to pay the fee online.

Will the Realtor’s information be on the marketing materials. 

Yes. The marketing materials will include the Listing Agent’s information. The Listing Agent should be the point of contact for potential buyers that want to discuss buying the home.

The Mortgage Mark Team is here to help should buyers want to get pre-qualified for the List and Lock program (or for any other home loan). 

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