89% of Buyers use a Real Estate Agent
Each year, NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) surveys home buyers and sellers to get more information on their buying and selling experiences. This year’s report shows trends that have not been seen in the last 10 years as tighter credit standards are changing who purchases homes, who sells homes, and how homes are financed.
One of the growing trends among recent buyers is the fact that 89 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. This percentage has steadily increased from a decade ago in 2001, when only 69 percent of buyers enlisted the help of an agent or broker.
41 percent of buyers found their agent through a referral from a friend or family member and 9 percent used an agent they had used before to buy or sell a home.
About two-thirds of recent buyers only interviewed one agent before they found the agent they worked with, and nearly nine out of ten buyers would use their agent again or recommend them to others.
So why do today’s buyers choose to work with an agent? Let’s look at a few reasons:
First of all, they are licensed professionals. What does that mean? They had to complete accredited hours and pass an exam. To navigate one of the biggest purchases of your life, you need a licensed professional.
With access to a wide range of properties, they can guide you to those best suited for you – saving you time and energy. Especially if you’re unsure about what type of property you’re interested in, an agent can explain the pros and cons of different types of property i.e. condo life versus single-family detached living. They can tell you what neighborhoods are up and coming, access to better schools or if you’re looking for urban living, they can tell you which areas are more walkable.
One of the major things an agent can help with is by simplifying the buying process. They set up showings, help you with all the minute details of negotiations, they’ll even drive you to appointments if necessary.
Things have changed since a decade ago; today’s market presents challenges that weren’t there before. Now, buyers are faced with deals through short sale or foreclosure that need and experienced agent or broker to help them negotiate these types of contracts.
According to the NAR, “More than ever home buyers are relying on real estate agents and brokers to help them with their home purchase regardless of whether the home they are buying is a foreclosure, short sale, or even a FSBO sale because they need a real estate agent to help them through the process.”
One of the biggest reasons in today’s market is that buyers are unsure if now is really a good time to buy. Because of this, they need someone with local market knowledge. What neighborhoods are good to invest in? Have the prices continued to drop in a certain community? How many days are homes sitting on the market? How much are they selling for? It is the agent’s job to find the buyer the best deal out there.
The 2011 Profile also found that more buyers are opting against dual agency, where the agent represents both the buyer and seller. What this signals is that today’s buyers are very cautious about getting into the market. Even though a dual agent isn’t supposed to harbor any bias, today’s buyers are extra cautious making sure they are getting the best deal possible. NAR states that in fact, “60 percent of recent buyers had an oral or written arrangement with the real estate agent or broker so that the buyer’s agent only represented the buyer and not the seller.”
When you are making the decision to enter the market, make certain you consider using a real estate agent to buy your home. In the game of real estate, you definitely want your biggest ally on your side.
Download the 2011 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers
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