The National Association of REALTORS® released its 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, garnering coverage in a wide range of national media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Realtor.com®, and MarketWatch.
The annual report covers demographics, preferences, and experiences of buyers and sellers across the United States. 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the profile. This year’s profile, based on a survey of those who bought a home between July 2020 and June 2021, reflects the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on transactions.
“Buyers and sellers have been driven by the desire to be close to family and friends, as well as the need for a larger home,” says Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at NAR. In past years, convenience to work and affordability had ranked as top reasons to move.
With prices rising rapidly over the past year, the typical buyer reported paying 100% of asking price; 35% said they paid above the asking price. Home sellers reported selling their homes for a median of $85,000 more than their purchase price, a 29% increase from last year.
Buyers and sellers said they continue to rely on real estate professionals for the purchase or sale of their home: 87% of recent buyers and 90% of recent sellers said they worked with a real estate agent. Less than 1% of sellers said they used an iBuyer. Only 7% sold their homes themselves, matching historic lows.
Buyers said finding the right house and help negotiating the price and terms were what they most wanted from a real estate agent. The skills and qualities most important to them were honesty and integrity, responsiveness, and knowledge of the purchase process. Sellers said help pricing their home competitively and help marketing their home were what they most wanted from a real estate agent. They were most likely to cite reputation or honesty as the most important factor in choosing an agent.
Ninety percent of buyers and 89% of sellers said they would definitely or probably use their agent again.