Even in a housing market screaming for more inventory, there are people selling their houses. Who are they?
According to Zillow’s most recently released research titled The Zillow Group Report on Consumer Buying Trends in 2017, 63% of all sellers nation-wide are first time sellers. And the largest demographic group among all sellers is the Gen X group, ages approximately 35 to 54 years old.
Most sellers today are selling in order to able to buy “more house.” They tend to want larger homes (an additional 100 square feet or so) and the homes they buy in this “upgrade process” tend to cost approximately 11% more than the homes they’re selling.
Zillow tells us there are three reasons a person chooses to become a seller:
- 26% – there has been, is or will be a job change.
- 24% – there has been, is or will be a change in financial circumstances.
- 16% – the person is experiencing a major life change such as retirement, birth of a child, marriage, divorce, remarriage and additional children, etc.
Most all sellers (83%) do renovations to their home prior to listing it. 45% of them paint the interior and/or exterior of the house and 31% do major revisions to bathrooms.
It usually takes 2.8 months to sell a house once the home is listed. However, preparing a home for sale takes much longer. Women usually spend 5.9 months preparing their homes to sell while men usually spend 4.6 months before listing their homes. If they were to do it over again, both women and men, 30% of them would take more time preparing their home for sale than they did.
Most all sellers (88%) use an agent to help sell their homes. Most sellers will contact three agents before deciding upon their agent of choice. Sellers base their choice of agent on referrals, expertise, sales history, and online reviews. 50% of sellers want agents to help them price their home accurately. 35% of sellers want agents to help them in contract negotiations. Millennial sellers want help from agents in determining the optimum time to sell. All sellers want expert legal advice as well.
It is incumbent upon agents to have a solid, trusted network of industry professionals (including real estate attorneys) at their fingertips as well as the above expertise, experience and relationships. And it is also incumbent upon agents to have empathy and patience for first time sellers. Selling a first time home is a bit like sending off a first born child to college.