When it comes down to it, the most important factor in obrtianing a mortgage is getting the loan and closing on your home. A quality and reputable lender will have great communication throughout the process, meet with the borrower to discuss their goals, and present the best specific options to meet those goals. Keep in mind the realtor wants to close the deal as smoothly as possible. When a realtor refers a lender ( or any service provider) it's because they have a trust and confidence in that lender. The borrower should consult with that lender, and perhaps another to compare.....The ultimate decision lies with the borrower, but more often than not the communication will be better with the referred lender. RESPA laws prohibit kickbacks to protect the borrower.