Real estate agents and local lenders get the nod over online sources, family or friends when it comes time to buy a house and secure a mortgage, according to a new Fannie Mae survey.

The report from the Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research Group shows buyers do, indeed want more online resources during their mortgage-shopping experience. A survey showed respondents want to use mobile devices nearly twice as often in the future.

The ESR Group surveyed 1,202 recent mortgage borrowers about their experiences with real estate agents, mortgage lenders, friends and family, and online resources such as mobile apps, websites, and social media. The survey sample was constructed from borrowers with purchase mortgages in the Fannie Mae book of business that were originated in 2016.

Respondents say they consulted multiple sources of information about the mortgage process but found lenders and real estate agents to be more credible than mobile apps, websites, and social media.

Mike Allen is the managing broker/owner of Century 21 Jordan-Link & Company, a full -service real estate firm with offices in Visalia, Calif., and surrounding areas. He noted that potential clients who want the

“Though survey respondents say online sources are more convenient at times, they indicated a higher level of confidence in getting information through person-to-person interaction,” Allen said.

However, home buyers do report using online sources to shop for a home much more often, according to the survey.

Even among Millennials, mortgage lenders, and local real estate agents, friends and family are the most influential sources of mortgage information, not online sources according to the survey respondents.

“Local REALTORS® are the most trustworthy, credible and knowledgeable,” Allen noted.  “It is common practice in today’s digital age that families contact local web pages of nearby brokerage firms and REALTORS® who post their listings online.”

When it came to millennials, which made up 38 percent of the survey respondents, 29 percent said a real estate agent was the most influential source of information, with 27 percent citing a mortgage lender, 23 percent naming family and friends, and 14 percent stating it was the online source.

Typically, when a potential client finds something they like in their price range, they contact the listing agent and set up an appointment to view the property up close and personally.

“When it comes to getting the money for the mortgage, the agent can be a valuable resource in obtaining the best loan from a local lender,” Allen said.

Allen also noted that, according to the survey, REALTORS® scored higher than online sources for trustworthiness.

“Online sources are only trusted by 8-percent of those questioned, while REALTORS® received the highest degree of Trust at more than 50-percent,” he said.

However, with such a large demand for online resources, to remain competitive in today’s market, Fannie Mae explained real estate professionals still need to include an online element. They must evolve their digital offerings in order to provide an experience where consumers to move easily between online and personal interactions.