2002 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Why real estate consumers turn to you

August 1, 2002

Homebuyers are richer than they were two years ago and are increasingly Internet savvy, but some things never change. They still overwhelmingly use your services, The 2002 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows. NAR conducts the survey every two years to track the methods U.S. households use to buy or sell their homes and identify which services they look to you to provide. Findings from this year’s report are based on 5,700 responses to a questionnaire sent early this year to 37,000 households that bought or sold a home in 2001.

Incomes are higher, but so are home prices

Buying power isn’t moving much. The typical homebuying household earned $71,300 last year, 50 percent more than the $47,500 earned a decade ago. But home prices have risen about 50 percent in that time period, too. (In medians)

2001 Age Income
All homebuyers 36 $71,300
First-timers 31 $60,300
Repeat 41 $77,900
Second home 46 $77,700

1999
Age Income
All homebuyers 39 $60,400
First-timers 32 $49,700
Repeat 45 $68,600
Second home 43 $68,800

What buyers and sellers want
(Percentage for whom each service is most important)
Buyers
Find the right house 67%
Fill out paperwork 10
Negotiate price 9
Identify prices of comparable houses 5
Identify how much house to buy 5
Help arrange for financing 4

Sellers
Find a buyer 29%
Sell in specified time frame 26
Set price 20
Negotiate with buyers 11
Fill out paperwork 5
Other 9

Why they choose you
(Percentage for whom the selection method is primary)*
Referred by friend, family 49% 27%
Previously worked with 3 20
Reputation 6 7
For Sale sign, brochure box 6 7
Employer, relocation company referral 2 8
Personal contact 11 7
Open house 6 7
Walk-in 6 5
Another broker referral 2 6
Newspaper ad 2 3
Salesperson’s association with a company 3 4

Expanding Web
Internet growth continues at the expense of other information sources, although real estate practitioners remain far and away the primary source for buyers. (Percentage for whom the source was central for obtaining listings and other information)*
  2001 1999
Sales practitioner 79% 80%
Newspaper ad 41 43
Internet 41 37
Yard sign 32 36
Home book/magazine 24 29
Open house 29 28

FSBOs Pros still primary
Even as use of the Internet grows, sellers overwhelmingly rely on you. (Percentage who used the method in their last home sale)
Practitioner-assisted 79%
FSBO 13%
Other 8%

Ready to deal
Looking ahead, many FSBOs say they’ll seek the help of a practitioner the next time they sell. (Percentage of FSBOs who plan to use the method in the future)
By myself again 35%
With a real estate professional 22%
Not sure 43%

Sales pros generate higher prices
Market knowledge is undoubtedly one reason sellers continue to tap your services. (Final selling price in medians)
Sales pro assisted $175,000
FSBO $137,400
Difference 27%

SELLERS Seeking savings
Often sellers go FSBOto save on commission, but almost a third of FSBOs take the sales reins because they’re selling to a friend or relative. (Percentage for whom the reason is behind their FSBO decision)
Avoid paying commission 46%
Sold to friend or relative 31%
Avoid dealing with salesperson 8%
Buyer contacted seller 7%
Other 8%

*Numbers don’t add up to 100 percent because multiple responses were permitted.

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