45 Percent of Homebuyers Choose Lender on Agent Recommendation

by Peter Thomas Ricci

The agent/lender relationship is a darned important one, and a new survey highlights just how influential agents are in the creation of that relationship.


The relationship between agent and lender is one of the more integral in real estate, and the latest study from the always interesting folks at Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance found that agents wield considerable influence over what lenders their clients ultimately choose to finance their home purchases.

Based on a survey of nearly 2,000 agents, the Campbell Surveys/Inside Mortgage Finance’s found that real estate agents either control or influence 45 percent of homebuyer decisions on lender choice.

Would You Recommend Your Lender?

Though that may seem like a high number, it’s not an entirely surprising one, given A) how closely lenders interact with agents and their clients through the homebuying process, and B) how many factors that relationship encompasses; indeed, respondents told Campbell Surveys/Inside Mortgage Finance that closing times, reliability and costs were the most significant factors that determined whether or not they recommended the lender to their clients.

Joe Zimmerman, a partner with MKT Realty with @properties, said that in addition to a strong knowledge base and consistency, he places a high premium on accessibility when he works with lenders.

“[I work with lenders who] answer my phone call seven days a week,” Zimmerman said. “Nothing is more frustrating than being with a client and being unable to reach a lender.”

Campbell Surveys/Inside Mortgage Finance Findings

Of course, the Campbell Surveys/Inside Mortgage Finance study found many other interesting details regarding the lender/agent relationship, including: Nearly two-thirds of the sampled agents want mortgages to close in 30 days or less, but on average, closings take longer than 30 days; as a result, irregular closing timelines, then, were cited by agents as a major problem, along with appraisal issues and changes in underwriting policies.

Thomas Popik, the research director for Campbell Surveys, said the study highlights that underwriting  – not just appraisals – can compromise transactions.

“Lenders like to blame appraisers for delays, but our survey results tell us that underwriters often cause delays, particularly when underwriters do piecemeal and last-minute requests for borrower documentation,” he said.

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