2012 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers: Sellers and Agents

by Reno Manuele


As it found with homebuyers, the 2012 NAR Profile of Homebuyers an Sellers found that though home sellers love the Internet, they still love agents just as much.

By Peter Ricci

The findings of the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2012 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers on the home search process was perhaps the most encouraging part of the entire study, as it found that though the Internet is firmly entrenched in how homebuyers search for homes, they are still as reliant as ever on the services of a real estate professional.

Buyers’ agents, though, are not the only ones surviving in the changing real estate landscape. Home sellers, the Profile found, are in the same boat as homebuyers, and they count on technology and agents in equal measure.

2012 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – Home Selling

In its Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which covered the real estate market from July 2011 to July 2012 and derived its data from more than 8,000 respondents, NAR found the following:

  • A whopping 93 percent of home sellers reported that their home was listed or advertised on the Internet. That stat, interestingly, is even higher than that of homebuyers, of which 90 percent nowadays use the Internet in their home search.
  • Even with such widespread use of the Internet, though, 88 percent of home sellers utilized the services of a real estate agent when selling their homes, though as NAR found, they very specific on what agents they ultimately chose.
  • Eighty percent of sellers worked with real estate agents from a full-service brokerage, meaning one that could provide a broad range of services and manage every aspect of the home selling process on their own.
  • By contrast, only 12 percent used minimal service agents (who merely list a home on the MLS), and just 8 percent sought agents with limited services (from discount brokerages, for example).

Revenge of the Full-Service Real Estate Agent!

So once again, the data was clear – today’s consumers love the simplicity and accessibility of the Internet, but when it comes to complex, expensive transactions (aka, a home sale or purchase!), they are not prepared to sacrifice the expertise of an industry professional for the convenience of the World Wide Web.

And in the case of home sellers, the data is particularly promising, because not only did sellers seek out agents, but they sought out full-service agents; so not only are sellers looking for professional guidance, but they’re looking in the places that invest in technology, marketing and customer service.

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