A consortium of major realty firms is negotiating with four lenders, including General Electric Capital Mortgage Corp. and Norwest Mortgage, to provide the group with mortgages, according to well-placed sources.

The negotiations, described as preliminary, illustrate how lenders and real estate brokers around the country are exploring new, more efficient ways to deal with each other.

The realty group, known as Master Mortgage LP, is a cooperative venture of 23 large realty firms that operate mortgage banks.

Will Serve as Intermediary

The partnership is an offshoot of an industry roundtable known as the Masterminds.

The partnership, as previously reported, plans to serve as an intermediary between realty firm's mortgage banks, which handle loan applications, and mortgage banks that fund loans.

"Though we might have a larger or more comprehensive relationship with a particular lender, we'd like to sign up more than one," said Marcus Salazar, president of the group.

He confirmed that four proposals were on the table, but stressed that negotiations were preliminary.

Officials at GE and Norwest could not be reached for comment.

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