Home Seller Characteristics and Statistics

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While the home search process has shifted toward digital technology, the need for a trusted real estate agent to help sell a home is still paramount. Personal relationships and connections remained the most important feature of the agent-buyer/seller bond. Sellers most commonly found their real estate agents through referral by a friend, neighbor, or relative.
Sellers placed a high importance on the reputation of the agent when looking to hire, and trustworthiness and honesty were at the top of the list.

Sellers placed high priority on the following five tasks: sell the home within a specific timeframe (22 percent), price the home competitively (21 percent), help market the home to potential buyers (17 percent), help find ways to fix up the home to sell for more (16 percent), and find a buyer for home (11 percent).
Client referrals and repeat business were the predominant ways sellers found their real estate agent. Most sellers—89 percent—said that they would definitely (74 percent) or probably (15 percent) recommend their agent for future services.

Home Sellers and Their Selling Experience

  • For all sellers, the most commonly cited reason for selling their home was the desire to move closer to friends and family (15%), that it was too small (14%), and a change in family situation (12%).
  • 89% of home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home.
  • For recently sold homes, the final sales price was a median of 99% of the final listing price.
  • 46% of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers.

Home Selling and Real Estate Professionals

  • 77% of recent sellers contacted only one agent before finding the right agent they worked with to sell their home.
  • 91% of sellers listed their homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the number one source for sellers to list their home.
  • 77% of sellers reported that they provided the agent’s compensation.

For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) Sellers

  • The median age for FSBO sellers is 57 years64% of FSBO sales were by married couples that have a median household income of $96,700.
  • FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $217,900 last year (up from last year), and significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $242,300.
  • FSBO homes sold more quickly on the market than agent-assisted homes. 77% of FSBO homes sold in less than two weeks—often because homes were sold to someone the seller knows.

Home Sellers Before and During COVID-19

  • The top reason for sellers before April to sell their home was because they wanted to be closer to friends and family. Home sellers who sold their home after March were more likely to report the main reason for selling was because their home was too small.
  • Home sellers who sold after March were more likely to say they were somewhat urgent in their need to sell their home – 46% compared to 39% of those who sold before April.
  • Sellers who sold after March were more likely to use technology as a marketing tool. The biggest difference seen is among those using virtual tours27% used virtual tours after March compared to 16% of those pre-April.
  • Home sellers who sold after March sold their home for $300,000 while those who sold before April sold it for $270,000.

“Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.”