Written by Louis Wilson on 2019/07/10

NAR Annual Report (2019)

Finding the right home is the hardest part.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 56% of buyers said that simply finding the right home was the hardest part of the entire home buying process. This was consistent among all age groups but peaked for the youngest buyers. Beyond finding a home, buyers noted that understanding the process and paperwork were major pain points. Lastly, younger buyers noted that saving for a down payment was a major difficulty.

The NAR survey also asked buyers what they wanted from their real estate agents. 52% of recent buyers said that help in the home search process was the most important thing they wanted from a real estate agent. After the home search process, buyers wanted help negotiating terms and prices within the housing contract and help filling out all the paperwork.

Help WithAll Buyers28 or Younger29 to 3839 to 53
Finding the right home52%51%48%49%
Negotiating terms of sale14%16%16%14%
Negotiating price11%8%12%12%
Determining comparables6%6%7%6%

The average home in the United States received 2.2 bids in 2018. That means the majority of bids for home buyers were not accepted.

The home buying process usually takes 10 weeks

The average home buyer spends 10 weeks looking for homes before they have an offer accepted. A buyer's search typically begins online (44%) where they spend 3 weeks looking at listings and reading about the buying process. After viewing homes online for a few weeks (average of 3), buyers will contact a real estate agent, who will show the home buyer an average of 10 homes before an offer is accepted.

While the search typically starts online, 87% of buyers end up using a real estate agent to purchase a home. This number is even higher for younger buyers, where 92% of buyers under the age of 28 use an agent. I am sure this isn't surprising, but the majority of buyers find their agent through personal networks. 53% of buyers either used their agent before or found them directly through a friend or family member. Because it is such a relationship business, 68% of buyers interview only one real estate agent. Furthermore, only 5% interview 4+ agents.

Buyers are overall satisfied with agents.

The majority of home buyers are happy with the process. 62% were very satisfied and another 30% were somewhat satisfied. That leaves the remaining 8% of home buyers who were unsatisfied with their home buying experience. Not bad!

However, if you are looking for areas to improve, the most important personal quality to buyers is trust and honesty. After that, they look for the reputation, the knowledge, and the responsiveness of an agent.