What Buyers, Sellers Want Most From Real Estate Agents

What Buyers, Sellers Want Most From Real Estate Agents

The majority of home buyers and sellers rely on real estate agents—nearly 90% of them—but they’re looking for certain types of help, and what they need could differ depending on their age and experience in the market, finds a new study from the National Association of REALTORS®.

Home buyers, for example, don’t just want help with finding a home, but also with negotiating and with learning about the real estate process, according to NAR’s 2024 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report.

“While the internet is being utilized throughout the home search, agents remain the most-used information source in the home search, followed by mobile or tablet search devices,” the study reports. “Sellers, as well, turned to professionals to price their homes competitively, help market their homes to potential buyers, sell within a specific time frame, and find ways to fix up their homes to sell them for more.”


What Buyers Want: A Guide and Coach

Younger home buyers are more likely to say that one of the most difficult steps in the homebuying process—behind finding a property and saving for the down payment—is understanding the real estate process and the steps they need to take, the study finds. Older adults, ages 44 and up, tend to feel more confident heading into the purchase process, generally having had previous experience buying a home. Nearly a quarter of older adults cited “no difficult steps” in the homebuying process, the survey says. But they still report struggling with finding the right property and with completing the paperwork in a transaction.

Nar What Buyers Want From Agents

As buyers reflected on their experience, they reported that the most commonly cited benefits provided by real estate agents during the home purchase process were:  

  • Helping buyer understand the process: 61% 
  • Pointing out unnoticed features/faults with property: 58% 
  • Negotiating better sales contract terms: 46% 
  • Providing a better list of service providers (e.g. home inspectors): 46% 
  • Improving buyer’s knowledge of search areas: 45% 
  • Negotiating a better price: 33% 
  • Shortening a buyer’s home search: 23% 
  • Expanding buyer’s search area: 21%

When choosing an agent, buyers said their top criteria were the agent’s experience (21%), honesty and trustworthiness (19%), reputation (15%), and whether the agent was a friend or family member (12%). An agent’s reputation tended to be slightly more important to older generations than to younger generations, the study says.

Home buyers also said they valued constant communication from their real estate agent, identifying their top likes as agents who personally call them to inform them of activities (73%), those who send them property information and communicating via text message (71%), and those who send them postings as soon as a property is listed or when the price changes or the listing is under contract (70%).


What Home Sellers Want: Make Their Home Stand Out

More than one-third of home sellers—across age groups—relied on a referral from a friend, neighbor or relative to find their real estate agent, the survey finds. Only 5% relied on internet searches to find one. Sellers reported their top criteria for choosing their real estate agent was the agent’s reputation, their honesty and trustworthiness, and whether the agent was a friend or a family member.

Nar What Sellers Most Want From Agents

Source: What Buyers, Sellers Want Most From Real Estate Agents REALTOR® Magazine (April 4, 2024) Melissa Dittmann Tracey