Realtor Profile of Buyers and Sellers
Before analyzing the NAR profile 2009 we need to look at the current demographics of the US population by generations currently in our market. Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 make up about 70 million people. They may buy one or two more houses in their remaining life time and that will usually be downsizing. Gen. "X" born between 1965 and 1980 make up about 32 million of the US population. They will buy three to four houses in their remaining life time. usually upsizing as families expand. The Minimum or "Y" generation born between 1980 and 2000 already outnumber the Boomers and in five to ten years will make up over 93 million of the working US population. They will buy eight to ten houses in their life time. The "Greatest Generation" those born before 1946 have probably bought their last home.
Now let us look at what the NAR Survey tells us: 61% of all buyers in 2009 were less than 44 years of age. 40% were under 34, with 25% being single females and 12% single males. Nearly half of all buyers were first timers. 65% of the first time buyers were under 35 with a median age being 30. (Think about half of them being under 30 years of age in nearly a quarter of all sales.) All buyers 55 years of age and up represented a little more the 20% of the sales. The under 30s bought 5% more homes than the over 55s. (What is the average age of the Realtors in your market?)
Why did the first timers (about half the buyers) buy a home last year? The American Dream: 62% wanted to own their one home. 10% thought it was a most affordable time to buy and only 6% said it was because of the tax credit. 61% of first timers bought under $200 thousand with the most popular range being between $125 and $150 thousand.
What was the first step taken in the home buying process? 33% actually went to the internet to figure out the process and 11% researched the actual process on line, only 18% talked to a real estate agent to figure out the "How to." The good news is 81% of the buyers found the Agent very useful in the process and 77% found the internet very useful last year the percentage w as equal. Internet usage was over 90% with 76% using it frequently and reported that they found an agent that way. 60% of the buyers were inclined to walk through the houses they liked on the internet. (That is probably how they found their agent.) The median age of internet users was 37; they spent twice as much time on home searches and looked at three times more houses. For all buyers, 40% looked on line first, 21% looked for an agent first, 10% drove by houses, and 5% attended open houses. For the under 40 age group, 55% went to the internet first, 12% went to an agent, and 11% went to a lender, 8% drove by or visited an open house, 12% talked to a friend or relative. Internet searchers wanted pictures first 80% of the time and 63% liked virtual tours. The public MLS was the favorite site. The most important thing a buyer looked for in an agent was honesty 31%, reputation 23%, a friend 13%, care 10%, and a good firm 3%.
There is a whole lot more an agent can learn from the 2009 Survey of Buyers and Sellers and the complete book can be found at www.Realtor.org.