Agent VS FSBO (For Sale By Owner)
Authored by Gill South Inman News Staff Writer
About nine out of 10 buyers and sellers work with a professional, while DIY sales remain rock bottom
They say some things never change. And despite the intertwined world we live in, made flat by the internet’s ability to increasingly cut out intermediaries and facilitate direct connections, consumers’ desire to work with a real estate agent appears to be one of them.
Meanwhile, FSBOs (for sale by owner) remain bottom of the barrel at their record low of 8 percent.
The need for a trusted real estate agent is still paramount. Personal relationships and connections remain the most important feature of the agent-buyer/seller bond,” the report noted.
A few reasons why real estate agents remain as popular as ever may be inventory shortages (agents have the inside market scoop); overwhelming amounts of data; the increasingly complicated selling and loan process; and real estate websites and ads that encourage consumers to “learn more” from an agent.
However, at the end of the day, buyers and sellers of all ages — but especially younger and often DIY-minded consumers — seek and value a Realtors’ ability to dissect this information and use their expertise and market insights to coach buyers and sellers through the complexities of a real estate transaction.”
The two main ways of finding a home — embracing tech with online searches while making use of the personal connection with an agent — don’t have to be done separately, and millennials are great at using the two in combination, said Jessica Lautz, managing director, Survey Research and Communications at NAR.
Buyers said they needed an agent to help understand the purchase process. Buyers of 36 years and younger especially found hand-holding important when buying a home compared with other generations.
One of the reasons millennials appreciate the advice of an agent, Lautz explained, is because in a number of cases (20 percent) these young homebuyers are moving straight from their parents’ home to a home of their own.
“If they have never rented before, the process of homebuying is going to be that much more confusing,” said Lautz.
Referrals still the way most buyers find their agent
Referrals, meanwhile, are still the way most buyers are finding their agent of choice. Referrals by friends, neighbors or relatives were higher among buyers 36 years and younger (52 percent, up from 46 percent last year) and ages 37 to 51 (39 percent) compared to older generations.
In addition, the slice of homesellers who used a referral or the same agent they had worked with in the past was 64 percent, a number that springs to 74 percent for the 36 and younger seller crowd.
When first contacting their agent, buyers across the board initially reached them by phone while initial contact through e-mail was most common among buyers 36 years and younger (19 percent) and ages 37 to 51 (16 percent).
It remains the case that when selecting a real estate professional to work with, consumers often interviewed only one real estate agent before making their decision.
Buyers 36 years and younger were the most likely to interview only one agent (70 percent), said the report, and across generations, seven in 10 buyers interviewed only one agent during the home search.
“People use referrals at such a strong rate,” said Lautz.
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