Home seller trends for 2011
The 2011 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers surveyed 5,708 home buyers and sellers, discovering that the demographics among buyers and sellers have changed this year, both of which are older, have higher incomes and are more likely to be married. What hasn’t changed much is the relationship between Realtor and consumer, with word of mouth referral still topping the ways home buyers and sellers initially connect with their agents.
Over the years, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has been a natural part of the real estate process, with 92 percent of sellers this year saying their home was listed through the MLS while 4 percent did not list their home on the MLS and the remaining 4 percent were unsure.
According to the trade association, full service agents remained the most highly tapped resources, with 80 percent of sellers saying they worked with an agent who could provide a broad range of services and manage most aspects of the sale while 10 percent worked with an agent who provided a limited set of services provided by the remaining 10 percent worked with an agent who listed the home on a MLS and performed few additional services.
What sellers want from their agent
Sellers continue to report that they expect four top goals from their selling agent, regardless of the level of services they provide:
- Help the seller market the home to potential clients
- Help price the home competitively
- Help sell the home within a specific timeframe
- Help find a buyer for the home
NAR reports that because so many sellers find their agent through word of mouth, their agent’s reputation is one of the most important factors as consumers want to work with someone a friend or family member has had a good experience with. Traditionally, word of mouth marketing whether online or off, gives a layer of accountability to any service provider as consumers can call the referrer to complain and attempt to go around a professional – it’s common and consumers want that safety net.
Home sellers also say one of the top qualities in an agent that they desire is honesty and trustworthiness as a home is one of the biggest investment of a person’s life.
The demographics of buyers and sellers are shifting, but the use of the MLS and a consumer’s desire to be personally connected by at least a second degree to a Realtor remains. Home sellers care more about integrity and an agent’s ability sell their home than what a Realtor looks like and whether or not they are tweeting about what they had for lunch.