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New survey finds clients rely on agents in big way during the buying process

by Andrew Morrell

Vietnamese couple talking to advisor in the office

The importance of real estate agents in the homebuying process cannot be understated, according to a new Freddie Mac analysis.

Freddie’s survey, which asked licensed U.S. real estate professionals about the role that they play in homebuying process, found that clients rely on agents for many things. For instance, around 80 percent of real estate agents said their clients trust their ability in finding and showing a home that fits their needs, while more than three quarters (78 percent) of agents believes that they are capable advisors on assisting their clients during the homebuying process.

Agents and the mortgage process

Furthermore, with the number of lender options out there, homebuyers are very reliant on their agents when choosing mortgage lenders. Seventy-six percent of agents say their clients will always or often use the lenders of their recommendation. Also, 84 percent of brokers have a select group of lenders who they generally refer to their clients to, and of those brokers, 73 percent have one to three lenders and 24 percent work with four to six lenders.

Despite clients relying heavily on agents for lender referrals, the agents themselves are not so familiar with mortgage process either. The survey shows that 50 percent of real estate professionals are confident when it comes to advising on the mortgage process, and only 30 percent are comfortable discussing downpayment assistance program options for their clients. In addition, 35 percent felt challenged by their clients’ lack of understanding on the process. It was a problem only compounded by the finding that nearly two-thirds of agents felt that if they recommended a housing counselor to further educate their clients on the process, the referral wouldn’t be trusted

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