In a study that surprised many, a larger percentage of Americans than ever are using real estate agents to buy and sell their homes.
Conventional wisdom had been saying for years that the internet and new technologies were going to result in fewer people turning to real estate agents for help in buying and selling their homes.
It was assumed this would be especially true for Millenials, that they would turn to websites and apps to buy and sell their homes.
However, the opposite has turned out to be true. Millennials are actually more likely to use a real estate agent today than Baby Boomers are.
The most noteworthy finding in the study conducted by Harris Insights & Analytics was that in 2018, a full 90% of consumers used real estate agents to buy and sell their homes.
That was the highest percentage of agent-assisted buyers and sellers that this ongoing study has recorded.
That 90% figure was a 5% increase over 2014, when 85% of consumers used real estate agents to buy and sell their homes, and a 9% increase from 81% when this ongoing survey was first done in 2001.
Real Estate Agent Usage by Age Group
For several years there has been a discussion about how Millenials would change the home buying and selling market.
It has been assumed that that generation would abandon using real estate agents in favor of searching for homes using only websites and web apps.
However, the data in this study showed that Millenials were extremely likely to use a real estate agent.
According to study data, 91% of buyers and sellers from ages 18 to 34 used real estate agents in their transaction.
Surprisingly, Millenials were even more likely to use a real estate agent than Baby Boomers (ages 54-72) were. Just 81% of consumers ages 55 and older reported having used a real estate agent in their transaction.
Gen Xers (ages 35-50) were the most likely to use a real estate agent, at 94%.
Real Estate Agent Usage by Education and Income
Another key finding was that higher educated and higher income earners were the most likely to use a real estate agent.
94% of people with a college degree used the service of an agent. Only 83% of those with a high school degree used a real estate agent.
98% of people earning $75,000 or more used a real estate agent, while only 79% of those who earned $50,000 a year or less used an agent.
How Consumers Choose an Agent
How does this increased number of people using real estate agents choose one?
“Referrals from people I trust” was the most common answer. A large majority, 69%, of said a referral was either extremely important or very important. A full 92% said it was important in their decision.
The second most common answer was “agents who had listings like my home”. 64% of consumers said this was a factor.
62% said “looking at websites with ratings of agent’s performances” was a factor.
“Having a personal relationship with the agent” came in fourth with 57%. In fifth place at 52% was “member of a Realtor organization.
Realtors Are Important, But So Are Websites
The majority of consumers still depend on a real estate agent to buy or sell a home.
However, websites have become extremely important for consumers when searching for homes or realtors. 92% of consumers reporting using websites for information about real estate agents.
Top Websites for Finding Real Estate Agents
Most Visited Real Estate Websites
- Yahoo! Homes
About the Study
The study measured the responses of 1,000 people who had bought or sold a home during the previous six months of 2018.
More Americans are using real estate agents than ever before – Houseingwire
Top 15 Most Popular Real Estate Websites May 2018 – EbizMBA
Buyers and Sellers Still Need You – Realtrends
90% of all Buyers and Sellers Used an Agent, Up 9% From 2001 – Realtrends
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