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December 1, 2011


NAR 2011 Report. Realtor Use at a Ten Year High

by mark mclean

According to a recent survey (2011) conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the use of real estate agents in the USA is currently at a 10 year high. Of the over 5700 home buyers and sellers polled, almost 89% are using agents. That number, by the way, is up nearly 20% in the last decade.  While many cited the complicated home buying process (foreclosures, short sales, etc)  I think there is a decent comparison to our Canadian market from these statistics.  If you are looking to beef up your buyer or seller packages, these are pretty powerful numbers.  The study asked people what service they wanted from their agents. Here are the results;

55%  said they wanted the agent to find them the right home.

13%  said they wanted their agent to negotiate the price.

12% said they wanted their agent to negotiate the terms of the agreement.

7%  said they wanted their agent to accurately determine what comparable homes sold for.

6%  said they wanted help with paperwork.

3%  wanted agents to help them determine what they could afford.

3%  wanted agents to help them find and arrange financing.

Surprisingly, the NAR survey reported that the above results were pretty consistent with both first time and repeat buyers, new and resale homes and household composition.  There were three other significant things I pulled from the survey; First, more than half of the people polled said that real estate agents pointed out unnoticed features and faults with a property, second 44% said the agent negotiated better contracts and terms, and 46% said their agent improved their knowledge of search areas.

With all the information published in their report, it is easy to see why Realtor use is at a ten year high. Clearly the survey further outlines the complexities of the buying and selling process and why knowledgeable agents can bring value to any transaction. Let’s remember that organized real estate associations were first established by the industry and the government to provide regulations, enhance professionalism and above all increase consumer protection.

As Michael Polzler, Executive Vice-President of Re/Max Ontraio-Atlantic Canada, said in a recent open letter in REM, “We are in the business of providing value and knowledge. It’s what we as professional realtors bring to the table that sells our services time and time again. The results we generate are unparalleled. It’s not by luck or by chance that 90% of homes sold on MLS are moved by realtors”.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. It’s great to see that, contrary to what many people assumed when people began to start going online to research homes for sale, more and more people are seeing the value in hiring a qualified real estate professional to assist them through the often complicated process of buying and selling property. That means our industry is responding by making our services more indispensable, rather than just being “gatekeepers” for listings. My team has worked hard to make sure we deliver excellent service on all fronts, and as a result we’ve seen more and more of our clients come back to us years later when it’s time for another real estate change. One of the things we hear a lot from clients that I don’t see in the NAR response is that they don’t have time to manage the showing process when it comes to selling their home.

    • Feb 10 2012

      Hi Susan, first of all thank you so much for reading and commenting on my blog. In response to your comments, I couldn’t agree more. You make an excellent piont about us not being gate keepers. We are not seeing too many FSBO or posted listings here yet but there is a lot of mileage in talking about the showing side of the equation. I don’t think the general public knows the work that goes into something as simple as the showing process. Perhaps the reason NAR isn’t responding is because people think that it is too easy. regardless, the reason people keep coming back to you is that your after sales service is as important as the sale itself. Many agents don’t get that. Keep up the great work.


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