Real Estate Statistics: Why You Should Know the Data

Do you know what's going on in your industry at a local and national level? Find out where to get statistics that give you a window into real estate, and how you can use those numbers to bring in more business.

August 9, 2011

Who’s buying real estate in today’s market? What are they really looking for? Why do for-sale-by-owners want to sell on their own? How many homes were actually sold through the assistance of a real estate professional?

These are just a few of the questions that statistics can answer for you. Fortunately, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® provides this research to its members on a regular basis. Having this information can help you become a better real estate professional, target your advertising to the right clientele, and aid in the preparation of reports and presentations.

If you don’t take the time to get these facts, you’re missing out on a wealth of resources that can help take your business to the next level. For instance, here are a few valuable stats from NAR’s 2010 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

  • The typical home buyer will search for homes for 12 weeks and view 12 different homes during the homebuying process.
  • 83 percent of buyers purchased a home through a real estate agent.
  • 48 percent of buyers found their agent through friend or family member.
  • The typical sellers lived in their homes for 8 years.
  • 88 percent of sellers were assisted by an agent with their transaction.
  • Homes sold through a real estate agent sold for 96 percent of the list price.
  • 57 percent of sellers reduced the asking price at least once while their home was listed.
  • The typical home is on the market for eight weeks.
  • 86 percent of sellers surveyed were somewhat satisfied with their agent.
  • 41 percent of sellers found the listing agent through a friend, family member, or coworker.
  • 83 percent of consumers would definitely use their agent again.

How can this information help you and your business? Besides getting a better understanding of who today’s consumer is, statistics can play a vital role with generating reports, presentations, and more.

Incorporate Local Statistics and Industry Trends

Being familiar with national data is important, but having stats on your local market is just as important, if not more so. Take the time to find out all you can about housing statistics in your own market area. Your multiple listing service can provide a wealth of info for you to share with consumers and news media services about what is going on in your own area.

You can also get a lot of good information from your local, regional, or state economic development agencies. Another excellent resource is, which has a vast library of data available for every county in the United States.

It’s important for every real estate organization and practitioner to make sure their real estate Web site offers appropriate and relevant information. For example, first-time home buyers are becoming a bigger part of the market. If you want to work with them, your Web site should include more information about the homebuying process. According to NAR’s 2010 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers:

  • 50 percent of recent home buyers were first-timers.
  • The typical first-time home buyer was 30 years old.
  • Repeat buyers were 49 years old on average.
  • One-third of recent home buyers indicated their primary reason for purchasing was a desire to own a home.
  • 20 percent of recent home buyers were single females; 12 percent were single males.

Create Free Reports Downloads

Consumers love free stuff, and reports are no exception. Consider adding reports to your site that can help buyers and sellers during the transaction. For buyers, you might consider adding reports that include tips on buying a home and what they should do throughout the process. For sellers, you might add information about what they should do to prepare their home before selling as well as what they can expect during the contractual time frame. This type of information can help generate traffic to your Web site and build a resourceful library for consumers who want to learn more about buying and selling a home.

Produce and Upload Videos

Creating short videos about your company, the local marketplace, and information on buying and selling a home can play a key role in informing and attracting clientele. The videos also can give you exposure on larger sites like YouTube and Google, thereby increasing traffic to your site. Make sure that when you post videos to other Web portals, you use the appropriate tags and keywords to help consumers find them.

Two popular programs you can use to create educational videos about the homebuying process, statistics about your area, and general presentations are Jing and PowerPoint. With these two tools, you can easily convert your presentation into a video that you can post to your Web site or share on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Advertise to Target Markets

Advertisements, offerings of reports, and services should all be tailored to fit the needs of the consumers who are actively buying and selling real estate. As with any successful marketing strategy or campaign, you should take the time to think about how you can use the information to best reach your target market effectively.

Share Your Knowledge

As you begin to develop your knowledge of statistics in your market area, keep in mind that members of the local media will want to share that information with their audiences. This can be a win-win situation for everyone and create excellent public relations for you and your firm. Always be sure to give the appropriate credit for the sources you cite when working with the press. Also, including this information in postcards, advertisements, and general mailings to your sphere of influence can help portray you as the expert in your market.

John D. Mayfield, ABR, CRB, e-PRO, GRI, is a sales coach, author, and broker/owner of Mayfield Real Estate in Farmington, Mo. You can contact Mayfield through his Web site,