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Home sellers’ satisfaction with their listing agent is up in 2011

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Home seller profile

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.

Home listing marketing methods

The trade association reports that “the marketing method of sellers continued to branch out into creative ways to use technology to capture the buyer’s attention and hopefully spark the buyer to look at and purchase the home.” Listings on the internet are the top marketing source of sellers (92 percent),
one in three are also using nontraditional websites, 5 percent cite that social networking websites were used to market their home and video hosting sites were used by 3 percent, up considerably this year. Traditional marketing tools are still popular this yer with 77 percent of homes featuring yard signs and 58 percent utilizing open houses.

How listing agents were paid in 2011

The majority of real estate agents (78 percent) were paid by the seller in full this year, almost exclusively as a percent of the sales price. Fully 8 percent were compensated by the buyer and seller, with only 5 percent compensated by the buyer.

Interestingly, in roughly two in five sellers surveyed, the real estate agent initiated the discussion of compensation while one in three cases, the client brought up compensation. NAR reports taht in most cases, the real estate agent was willing to negotiate their commission or fee while 13 percent of sellers were unaware that the commission could possibly be negotiated.

Sellers’ satisfaction levels

As cited previously, word of mouth referrals are still the top ways agents earn new business, and 84 percent of buyers this year reported that they would recommend their listing agent to others or use their agent for their next transaction. Satisfaction levels are up a bit from last year despite plummeting values across the nation.

The takeaway

Web listings and yard signs still rule, most listing agents were paid by the seller in full, and much of the time, agents were the instigators of the conversation about commission which they frequently were willing to negotiate on. The share of sellers who were satisfied with their agent this year rose from last, despite lower home values.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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