NAR: 89 Percent of Homeowners Use an Agent to Sell

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Nearly 90 percent of all respondents worked with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Eighty-nine percent of sellers sold their home with the help of an agent, matching last year’s numbers. Homeowners who elected to sell their homes themselves was the same as last year, only 8 percent, an all-time low in 35 years since the beginning of NAR’s profile.

Nearly two-thirds reported that they found their agent through a friend, neighbor or relative, or had used their Realtor® previously.Eighty-five percent of sellers would most likely use their agent again and/or recommend the agent to others.

The profile uses results from a survey, which includes homebuyers from July of 2015 to June of 2016. Of that time frame, the average seller was 54 years old, the same as the previous year. The household income dipped slightly from $104,100 to $100,700. The average homeowner had lived in their home for 10 years before selling, which was a year longer than last year, and tying the all-time high in 2014. Twelve percent said they wanted to sell sooner, but were stuck because their house was worth less than the mortgage, a decrease of 2 percent from last year, and 5 percent from 2014.

Sellers saw a median equity gain of $43,100, a 24 percent increase over their purchase price. However, homes that were sold after 21 years of homeownership saw an increase of 124 percent, $127,600. Thus, a few more sellers traded up, 44 percent, a 2 percent increase from last year, but 32 percent traded down. Eighteen percent said they sold their home because it was too small.

“Although the imbalance of supply in relation to demand in recent year’s continues to put many sellers in the driver’s seat, they’re still looking for a Realtor® now more than ever to price their home competitively, market their home to the widest number of eyes possible and ultimately help close the deal within a given timeframe,” said NAR President Tom Salomone.

This year, homes were on the market for only about a month, compared to 11 weeks in 2012. Sellers moved a median distance of 20 miles, with 72 percent remaining in the same state.

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John Stallings