Real estate agencies more commonly now have an affiliated mortgage company, giving reassurance of an approved loan to agents and business to mortgage companies, the New York Times reports.

Federal law prohibits agents from forcing clients into a particular mortgage firm and from accepting payment for referrals; however, independent mortgage companies have found tactics used by real estate agencies that work around the law, the article explains. 

Additionally, the article adds that buyers have the right to choose whichever mortgage firm they want, but if they choose an affiliated mortgage firm, it can help reduce processing time and possibly waive certain fees.

"These ventures are not new, but they have gained importance since the market crash. A capable on-site loan officer became a valuable commodity for real estate agents in the tough lending climate,said Don Cummins, the director of legal services and professional standards for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.