A third of homebuyers turn to their real estate agent for help choosing a mortgage lender — that’s what a new study from Inside Mortgage Finance found after surveying 1,800 agents in January.

The new study suggests that real estate agents play a particularly important referral role in a housing market where financing contingencies have become a way of life.

A few facts:

  • When they represented a buyer, agents recommended one or more mortgage providers nearly 60 percent of the time.
  • More than three-quarters of those agents recommended more than one firm.
  • Homebuyers accepted the agent’s recommendation 58 percent of the time. (The math means that “real estate agents control or influence 34 percent of mortgage-financed home purchases.”)
  • The top reason a buyer wouldn’t take a Realtor’s recommendation: “existing banker relationship” (which might be as simple as a pre-approval letter).
  • Although most firms had “lender partners,” only 16 percent of buyers got a mortgage from one.

Click here to read more about it from National Mortgage Professional Magazine.