More Americans are using real estate agents than ever before
More Americans are using real estate agents to buy and sell their home than ever before, even among the younger generations.
A new Harris Insights housing consumer study, which was underwritten by the California Association of Realtors, The CE Shop and REAL Trends, shows a full 90% of consumers use real estate agents to buy and sell their homes. This is a survey high, and is up 5 percentage points from the last study in 2014 and up 9 percentage points from the first study conducted in 2001. The study asked the opinions of 1,000 people who had either bought or sold a home in the last six months.
And despite fears that Millennials are replacing real estate agents with technology, the study found that is not the case, and 91% of those ages 18 to 34 used real estate agents in their transaction. That number is slightly higher among Gen Xers, or those ages 35 to 44 years old, at 94%.
Actually, it’s the older generations that are cutting real estate agents out of the picture as just 81% of those ages 55 and older reported using a real estate agent in their transaction.
The study also found that more educated consumers are more likely to use a real estate agent, 94% of those with a college degree used agents in their transaction. Those with only a high school diploma used agents at a rate of 83%.
Higher income earners were also more likely to use real estate agents. About 79% of those who made $50,000 a year or less used an agent, while those who made between $75,000 and $100,000 used agents in 98% of the cases.
If the need for real estate agents is increasing – what are consumers looking for when it comes to selecting their agent? “Referrals from people I trust” garnered the highest response from consumers on what was most important when selecting their real estate agent. About 69% of consumers said this was either extremely important or very important, while 92% said it was important.
Next in importance was “findings agents who had listings like my home” at 64%, followed by “looking at websites with ratings of agent’s performances” at 62%. In fourth place was “having a personal relationship with the agent” at 57%.
The study also found that consumers value agents who are members of a Realtor organization, as this was the fifth most important factor at 52%.
But while technology does not seem like it will replace real estate agents any time soon, it is playing an increasingly important role in the home buying and selling process. A full 92% of consumers reported looking at websites for information about real estate agents, and this number was even higher for younger generations. Millennials reported using websites 96% of the time.
The top websites used to look up real estate agents, in this order, were realtor.com, Zillow, Google and Facebook.