Industry NewsMortgage

Lenders woo and sidestep real estate agents for customers

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Editor's note: This special four-part series will explore who controls the average real estate transaction, who or what is challenging and changing that central role and how it impacts the industry and consumers. (See Part 1: Realtors have the power, Part 2: Battle is on for real estate consumer and Part 3: Web pushes realty agents out of spotlight.) Lenders have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to get closer to the point of sale in real estate purchases, but at the end of the day, they still must deal with the real estate agent to gain access to the consumer. "On the resale transaction, the real estate agent still controls the point of sale. That hasn't changed," said Pat Stone, vice chairman of Metrocities Mortgage. "The resale still belongs to the agent. I don't see that changing." That doesn't mean lenders haven't attempted to change it. The rewards for shifting that balance have the potential to be great. It's a widely held belief, after all, that whoever controls th...