Finding a listing agent in 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.
Although the demographics of home buyers and sellers have shifted, the trade association reports that the relationship between Realtor and home seller has changed very little over the years, beginning with how they are initially referred to one another.
The most commonly cited method sellers used to find their real estate agent is referral from a friend, neighbor or relative, leading the pack with 39 percent of all home seller respondents this year while 22 percent used an agent they had worked before.
Like buyers, the typical seller contacts only one agent during the selling process with 16 percent contacting two agents prior to selling their home and 18 percent contacting three or more agents.
The top 10 methods
According to the report, the top 10 methods home sellers use to find an agent in 2011:
- 39 percent – referred by (or is) a friend, neighbor, or relative
- 22 percent – used agent previously to buy or sell a home
- 5 percent – referred through employer or relocation company
- 4 percent – personal contact by agent (telephone, email, etc.)
- 4 percent – saw contact information on for sale / open house sign
- 4 percent – visited an open house and met agent
- 4 percent – referred by another real estate agent or broker
- 3 percent – internet web site
- 2 percent – direct mail (newsletter, flyer, postcard, etc.)
- 1 percent – walked into or called office and agent was on duty
There are a lot of tools in a Realtor’s tool box for lead generation, but home buyers and sellers over the years cite the top way they connect with a Realtor is through the trusted word of a friend. We would be interested to see the survey questions dig deeper and ask if the referring friend was online, as many use their social graph online now to locate services and products, or if the natural referral network remains offline. Demographics are shifting rapidly, but how consumers connect with Realtors is not, so word of mouth still rules.
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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