By Cyndi Bell • 2019 President

The National Association of REALTORS publishes a homebuyer and home seller profile each year. As a dues paying REALTOR, this is a benefit to you. So, let’s take a quick look at who we serve in our real estate practice.

Characteristics of home buyers

Of all the homes purchased nationwide, first-time buyers made up 33 percent of all home buyers, a decrease from last year’s 34 percent. The typical buyer was 46 years old, and the median household income for 2017 rose again this year to $91,600.

What kind of homes are these buyers snapping up? Twelve percent of homebuyers purchased a multi-generational home, to take care of aging parents or children over the age of 18 moving back home and for cost-saving. A big take away with Fort Hood on our northern border, 18 percent of recent homebuyers were veterans and 3 percent were active-duty service members. Consider investing your CE dollars on the MRP [Military Relocation Professional] designation to service this community of buyers.

Home prices nationally increased slightly this year to a median of $250,000 among all buyers. Buyers typically purchased their homes for 99 percent of the asking price. In Williamson County, the median sales price for 2018 is slightly higher than the national average at $283,743 and 98.97 percent of the asking price.

The Home Search Process

It’s no surprise that the average homebuyer starts the homebuying process online and makes up 44 percent of recent buyers. With buyers starting their search on third-party marketing sites such as REALTOR.com and Zillow, consider how you choose to get in front of these buyers. And when you finally convert that buyer lead to a client, the typical buyer searched for 10 weeks and visited 10 homes.

Homebuying and Real Estate Professionals

On average, 87 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent, and six percent purchased directly from a builder or builder’s agent. What is most important to your homebuyer? They want an agent to help them find the right home and negotiate a great price. Ninety percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others; that is great news. Maintain your database and build your referral business. To better serve your buyers, consider expanding your education and secure your “Accredited Buyer Representative Designation.” It will be held in September at WCAoR.

Home Sellers and Their Selling Experience

It is not surprising sellers move for very specific reasons, the most commonly cited reason for selling: home too small (15 percent), followed by the desire to move closer to friends and family (14 percent) and employment relocation (13 percent). Ninety-one percent of home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home and of that 75 percent contacted only one agent before finding the right agent they worked with to sell their home. To better serve your sellers, consider taking the “Seller Representative Specialist” designation available in September at WCAoR.

For Sale by Owner (FSBO) Sellers

Let’s not forget our For Sale By Owners aka FSBO’s. FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $200,000 last year (up from $190,000 the year prior) and significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $264,900. That’s a lot of money left on the table for FSBO’s and is a conversation starter for sure.

In the end…

Seller and buyer profiles change year-to-year. What is important to remember is to keep in touch with your database and look to meet new customers with whom you can show your value. For most people, the purchase of a home is the largest financial transaction they will ever make. You, as a REALTOR, are a trusted advisor in the process. Know your clients and their needs and the business will come. RL