Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its 2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, an annual survey about the home buying and selling process. There were over 9,000 respondents from around the US. The report contains tons of detailed information on the demographics, behaviors, experience of consumers in the housing market and some very interesting FSBO data (116 pages worth!). Here are some highlights. If you want more detail, it is definitely worth buying the report, Realtor member pricing is $25 or download for free.
The number of first-time buyers increased sharply last year to 47% from 41%.
90% of buyers used the Internet to search for homes, 76% did so frequently. I don't think this surprises anyone.
Searching online was the very first step in the buying process for most buyers, even before contacting a real estate agent. Interesting to look at how this breaks down by age.
On average, buyers spent 2 weeks searching online before contacting an agent, big opopportunity here for agents to connect with buyers who haven't yet chosen representation.
Most buyers (44%) found their agent through a referral from a friend or relative, but 10% of buyers found their agent online.
Yes, the Internet was used more often as a source of information, but check out who is the most reliable as a 'very useful' source!
"Honesty and trustworthiness" was the most important factor cited when choosing an agent.
This is just a small portion of the information that is available in this report. I highly recommend spending some time downloading the report and go through it yourself. You could come to interesting conclusions when making 2010 business decisions.