Consumers: Agents Are as Valuable as Therapists

January 9, 2020

Home sellers and buyers really like and trust their real estate agents. Seventy-three percent of home sellers agree that their agent was as valuable as a therapist. Sixty-four percent of home buyers agree their agent knows them better than their next-door neighbor, according to a new consumer survey conducted by Century 21 Real Estate.

But with all that weight placed on the agent’s value and importance, the survey also found that consumers tended to be in a rush to commit to an agent. They interviewed two agents, on average, before deciding on whom to hire.

“We’re seeing a real disconnect within the real estate industry today where home buyers and sellers are extremely invested in the outcome of their transaction, yet they seem to be shortchanging themselves on the front end by rushing the vetting process to find the right agent to help them navigate what for most is the biggest emotional and financial decision in their life,” says Mike Miedler, president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “Defying the mediocrity that still exists in the real estate industry is a major part of our mission, and every potential home buyer or seller should be extremely selective in whom they entrust to shepherd them through this complicated process.”

Those who rush to commit to an agent may risk aligning themselves with a person who makes them less satisfied with the level of service. A survey of 500 home buyers and sellers conducted by Wakefield Research found that 34% of recent buyers were not very likely to rehire their real estate pro.

Some consumers also expressed feeling abandoned by their real estate pro. Since closing on a home, nearly a quarter—23%—of consumers said their real estate agent had not reached out to make contact with them, the Century 21 survey showed.

Additional findings from the survey:

  • Greatest life achievement: Nearly three-fourths of surveyed consumers—or 70%—ranked buying a home as one of their top three greatest life achievements. Buying a home was second only to getting married (76%).
  • How agents added value: Home buyers surveyed said the top ways their agent added value to the transaction was by providing information about the market (23%) and navigating the overall process (22%). Home sellers said their agent most added value with their knowledge of the market (73%), advice and counsel (72%), their assistance navigating the stress (53%).
  • Couples don’t see eye-to-eye: Only 17% of couples in a relationship said they were perfectly matched on which real estate agent to use. 
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