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Most real estate professionals refer clients to a select group of lenders, and they choose those companies based on the ease of doing business with them, their reputations, and the strength of those relationships, according to a survey commissioned by Freddie Mac.

Eighty-four percent of real estate professionals have a select group of lenders to which they generally refer their clients. Of these, 73 percent have 1 – 3 lenders in their network, and 24 percent work with 4 – 6 lenders. More than three-quarters (76 percent) say their clients always or often use their recommended lender referrals. This figure climbs to 87 percent among those who sell more than 20 properties per year.

In advance of the National Association of REALTORS® annual conference taking place in Orlando, Fla., Freddie Mac commissioned a survey of licensed U.S. real estate professionals about a variety of topics, including the challenges of growing their business and their views on the role they play in the home-buying process.

More than 80 percent of real estate professionals said their clients trust their knowledge of the area, their ability to help them find a home and their ability to show them the right homes for their needs. Seventy-eight percent see themselves as an advisor capable of assisting clients with their navigation of the home-buying process.

At the same time, 35 percent said they feel challenged by clients’ lack of understanding of the home-buying process.

Only 38 percent of real estate professionals said their clients would find them to be a trusted advisor who could help refer them for housing counseling if they need or want more education on the process.

Real estate professionals are somewhat less confident when it comes to educating buyers on the mortgage process (50 percent) and down payment assistance program options (30 percent).

“The survey reaffirms just how important real estate professionals are to families throughout the home-buying process,” says Jeffrey S. Markowitz, Freddie Mac’s vice president of Government and Industry Relations. “We want to help them clear the path to the closing table by providing information that may allow them to provide even more options to their clients and grow their business.”

For more information, visit www.freddiemac.com.

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