Profile Of U.S. Home Sellers

by : Real Estate Advisor

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducted a survey to identify the typical profile of homebuyers and home sellers. The most recent findings were published in NAR's 2006 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report. This article focuses on the profile of a typical home seller based on the NAR report.

According to the report, the median age of a home seller is 46 years, which is older than the typical home buyer's age of 41 years. Home sellers have a higher income than homebuyers with a median household income of $83,200 in 2005, as compared to $71,800 for homebuyers. Home sellers being older than the typical home buyer are less likely to have children under 18 living in their home, and are more likely to be married-couples.

On average, homeowners sold their property after 6 years of ownership. Approximately 13% of homeowners are first-time home sellers.

According to the report, the most common reasons why homeowners sell their current home is the need for a larger home, or to move closer to friends and family, or to relocate. Older home sellers (ages 65 and above) were more likely to sell their current homes because they wanted to downsize to a smaller home. Younger home sellers (ages 44 and below) were more likely to sell their home because they wanted larger home.

The median sales price was found to be more or less at par with the listing price. According to the report, the median sales price in 2005 was 99% of the median listing price. An average home stayed on the market for 6 weeks before it was sold.

Real estate professionals continue to play a major role in successful home selling. The percentage of home owners who used the services of a real estate agent or broker to sell their homes was 84%. Of these, 80% sold their homes by using an agent or broker exclusively. For Sale By Owner (FSBO's) accounted for 12% only.

The major factors that influenced home sellers to choose their real estate agents were - Agent's reputation (35%), honesty and trustworthiness (21%), agent being a friend or family member (15%) and knowledge of a neighborhood (11%). About 44% of sellers chose their agent based on referrals from friends or relatives and 30% based on previous experience with an agent. Home sellers report great satisfaction with their real estate agent; 82% of them said that they would use the same agent again or recommend their agent to others.

The Internet continues to be the major marketing tool of home sellers with 88% of recent home sellers having listed their homes in the local multiple listing service (MLS). More than 50% of home sellers used yard signs and open houses.

If you are considering buying or selling a home, condo or any other type of real estate, be sure to seek out the services of a knowledgeable real estate agent to help you with this complex transaction.