When it comes time to list their home, sellers generally are settling on an agent after a single interview.
According to the Keller Williams Realty Vision 2016 survey, NAR stats show that 72 percent of sellers contacted just one agent before deciding who to list with. And 15 percent decided after interviewing two agents, 9 percent interviewed three agents and just 2 percent interviewed four or more.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 89 percent of home sellers used an agent in 2016 — consistent with the rate over the previous five years. The association also found that for-sale-by-owner transactions fell to their lowest rate — 8 percent — since it began tracking the data in 1981.
“Regardless of the plethora of online resources readily available at the click of a mouse or the swipe of a thumb, consumers serious about buying a home continue to seek the expertise and market insights that only a Realtor can provide,” said NAR’s Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Fla. “Given the numerous competitive markets with minimal supply, it’s no surprise that both first-time and repeat buyers sought an agent for assistance finding the right home and negotiating the terms of the sale.”
For sellers, choosing the right agent can impact how long their house is on the market. Real estate agents know that the timely sale of a house is essential for their client to begin the next chapter of their life.
When it comes to what sellers want most from their agent, 21 percent want them to market their home to potential buyers. Another 21 percent want help selling their home in a specific timeframe and 16 percent want help pricing their home competitively.
Sellers also want help to find ways to fix up a home to sell it for more (14 percent), help with negotiations and dealing with buyers (5 percent), help with paperwork/inspections/preparing for settlement (3 percent) and help sellers seeing homes available for purchase (2 percent).
The survey also found that for 34 percent of sellers, reputation is the most important factor in selecting an agent.
The right agent will prove their worth to sellers by displaying their level of experience, professionalism, and trustworthiness.
Reputation was nearly double the next factor, honest and trustworthy (18 percent). This was followed by an agents that is family or friend (16 percent), an agent’s knowledge of the neighborhood (15 percent). Other factors include good listener, association with a particular firm, commission, accessible with technology and professional designations.
Dan Cuckovic, the managing broker and owner of Enterprise Realty Brokers, a Chicago-based real estate company, noted that technology is becoming a greater factor for sellers who are looking for a listing agent.
“Everyone is online,” he told Digital Journal. He noted that sellers today use services like Upnest.com or Hungryagent.com. These websites have agents bid for sellers’ business.”
NAR President Bill Brown, a Realtor from Alamo, Calif., noted that online and mobile technology is increasingly giving consumers a glut of real estate data at their disposal.
“However, at the end of the day, buyers and sellers of all ages – but especially younger and often DIY-minded consumers – seek and value a Realtors’ ability to dissect this information and use their expertise and market insights to coach buyers and sellers through the complexities of a real estate transaction,” he concluded.