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Top home seller trends for 2011 – almost all consumers now enlist a Realtor

2011 Home Seller profile

The 2011 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers recently surveyed 5,708 home buyers and sellers and found not only that home sellers are staying in their homes longer (now 9 years up from 6 just two years ago), but home buyers are expecting to stay longer in their homes (15 years, up dramatically from 10 in recent years).

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) study also revealed that 87 percent of home sellers sold their home with the assistance of a real estate agent, compared to the 89 percent of home buyers that used a real estate professional, which is at a ten year high. Most consumers transacting real estate this year use the services of a real estate professional, likely welcome news to Realtors.

The share of home sellers working with an agent was highest in the Northeast at 90 percent and lowest in the Midwest at 85 percent.

The study showed that 10 percent of sales were for sale by owner (FSBO) and that FSBO sales were highest in the Midwest at 13 percent and lowest in the West at just 6 percent.

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According to the trade association, “The method of sale tends to differ in conjunction with the relationship between the buyer and seller. If the buyer and seller know each other, the sale can be either an armslength transaction consistent with local market conditions or it may involve considerations that would be not be relevant in the absence of a prior relationship.”

Of all home sellers, 6 percent say they knew the buyer of their home, down 2 percent from last year. Among sellers who used a Realtor, only 3 percent knew the buyer.

The story is very different for FSBO sellers – over one in three knew the buyer of their home prior to the transaction.

Most people now use a Realtor, and fewer people know the buyer of their home than last year. FSBOs account for roughly one in ten home sellers, and of those FSBOs, one in three knew the seller before the transaction. The sales method differed depending on what region a seller is in, with real estate professionals being most widely used in the Northeast.

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