Americans compare shoes, shop around for cars, and measure name brand products against each other constantly. We even spend months searching for just the right home in a neighborhood that suits our needs, but when it comes to actually financing the loan for buying a home, we seems to be willing to take whatever loan we can get. A report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests that nearly half of home buyers seeking a loan do not shop lenders.

"It is not a process consumers go through very often," said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com. "There is a tendency to latch onto the first knowledgeable individual and assume that they are acting solely in your best interest."

The survey also found that most home buyers seek information on mortgage options from sources that have a vested interest in their final decision. This includes real estate brokers and mortgage lenders. About 70 percent of the survey respondents said they relied heavily on those sources for information. Despite the availability of mortgage-related data and comparison tools online, just 20 percent said they rely heavily on websites. A measly 2 percent of home buyers seek information from housing counselors, probably one of the best independent resources out there.

While getting mortgage lender suggestions from your real estate agent is a good idea, you should explore your options. Do some research online, take a look at what’s out there. The survey said that home buyers who felt more knowledgeable and empowered about mortgages were more likely to shop around and find the best terms.  

You could find a lower rate somewhere else and it could be bigger savings than you think. For example, a home buyer with a 30-year loan for $200,000 paying an interest rate of 4.5 percent will pay about $60 more per month than a home buyer borrowing at 4 percent. Additionally, the borrower with the lower interest rate will also build equity faster.

This year, home buying activity is expected to increase. There are going to be a lot more Millennials buying a home.  For the most part, 2015 will bring much more favorable conditions than we’ve seen in years, including more moderate lending standards and mortgages with lower down payment requirements. Comparing multiple lenders and mortgages could really help you get the best available deal. 

Before you shop for a loan, or a home, you should also compare and contrast real estate agents. It can take time and effort to do all the research to find the best local real estate agent for your home buying or selling needs. HomeVisor can help do the research for you. Let us know what your needs are, such as first time home buyer or seller, lakeshore property sale or purchase, a second home and more, and let us know what community you’re interested in. 

We can make a real estate agent recommendation for your particular situation, then you can choose to hire them or not – you’re under no obligation one way or the other. In fact, take the advice we recommended above: Consult professionals like us, but also do some of your own research. Covering all the bases could help you find the best real estate agent.

Contact us today so we can get the real estate agent search started for you!