Although comparison shopping is the norm when it comes to most consumers' buying decisions, mortgages are a notable exception, a new LendingTree survey shows. According to the study of 1,317 homeowners, 96% of U.S. consumers compare prices when shopping for anything, but nearly 40% obtain just one home-loan quote.
By comparison, when shopping for a home computer, consumers research an average of 3.1 models before making a purchase. This explains why fewer than three in 10 borrowers are very confident they received the best possible deal on their current mortgage, LendingTree says.
Based on a nationally representative sample of current homeowners who were involved in shopping for their home loan, the LendingTree study, conducted by Harris Interactive, revealed that 85% of consumers use the Web to comparison shop, yet just 21% shopped online first for mortgage rates. Additionally, although nearly 40% obtain just one home-loan quote, more than nine in 10 borrowers – 91% – understand interest rates vary among lenders.Â
‘Choosing a mortgage is probably the most important financial decision most of us will ever make, yet many consumers simply take the first offer that comes their way,’ says Doug Lebda, chairman and CEO of LendingTree. ‘It's a gamble that leaves many borrowers uncertain they've received the best deal on their mortgage.’
Frustration also appears to be at the root of this shopping dilemma, LendingTree says. According to the survey, 70% of borrowers find shopping for a mortgage frustrating, citing the complexity of the terms (21%) and the time-intensive nature of the process (20%).