In 2013, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) started producing an annual report on buying and selling trends across generations. It’s full of good information, but it’s also 130-plus pages long. We’re sharing highlights from the 2023 report to save you from the search. (If you want to read the full report, the link is at the end of this article.)
With the explosive growth of real estate websites, you might wonder if real estate agents are still relevant to the homebuying process. Since 86% of all buyers used an agent for their purchase, and almost half wanted an agent’s help to find the right house, we’re going to answer with a hearty “yes!”
More From The 2023 NAR Report
Understand the characteristics of homes purchased and how real estate trends differ by generations.
What did buyers want their agents to provide?
More than anything else, buyers wanted an agent to help them find the right home. This far outweighed other needs, like negotiating the sale terms and sale price, or dealing with paperwork. From 41% of Gen X buyers (43-57 years old) to 58% of Older Baby Boomers (68-76 years old), buyers relied on their agent to help them locate the home they wanted.
Working with a real estate agent had benefits
Very few of us are experienced homebuyers, so it’s not surprising that buyers received specific benefits from their real estate professional. 81% of Younger Millennials (24-32 years old) and 64% of Older Millennials (age 33-42) mentioned getting help understanding the process as a benefit of working with an agent. This dropped into the mid-40% range for all older buyers, who probably had experience from previous transactions.
How To Find A Real Estate Agent
Guide to finding a real estate agent who fits your needs, understands your goals, and helps you make the best decisions in your homebuying or selling journey.
How homebuyers found their agents
When it comes to finding an agent, we trust referrals. We also trust agents we know already, whether they’re friends, relatives, or neighbors. 38% of all buyers found their agent through a referral or relationship, ranging from a high of 50% of Younger Millennials to a low of 32% of Younger Baby Boomers (58-67 years old). Coming in a distant second was using an agent from a previous real estate transaction, although 17% of the Silent Generation (77-97 years old) said that’s how they found their real estate professional. Older buyers are certainly most likely to have bought and sold homes in the past and know an agent they would use again.
What buyers looked for in an agent
Experience, honesty, and reputation were the most important factors influencing buyers in their choice of agent, with the exception of Gen X. They valued a good listener with a caring personality over the other three attributes. Professional designations were the least important consideration across generations.
Buyers wanted the right agent skillset
Buyers looked for honesty and integrity, responsiveness, and knowledge of both the purchase process and the real estate market. Coming in last? Skills with technology. This result suggests that agents with strong personal ethics, good business practices, and professional knowledge will continue to be in demand.
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Just call me: Contacting an agent
You might think buyers would email or text when they first contact an agent, but phone calls reign supreme, even with Younger Millennials. 24% said calling was their choice for a first contact, although they did choose text messages or email more often than other generations. The Silent Generation liked to start with in-person contact almost as much as a phone call, 33% to 34%.
Recommending an agent
Buyers were more than willing to refer their agents to others. About 75% of all buyers said they’d recommend their agent, and 62% actually did so at least once.
If you’re looking for an agent, talk to your local CCM loan originator. We work with real estate professionals representing buyers and sellers, and are happy to offer referrals. Contact us.
About the National Association of Realtors® Generational Trends Report
The National Association of Realtors® 2023 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report was researched and written by the National Association of Realtors® Research Group. It’s based on data gathered from primary residence homebuyers who purchased their properties between July 2021 and June 2022. For more information or to see the full report, visit https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics
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