The typical home seller was 53 years old and their income was $97,500. Sellers moved a median distance of 18 miles and their home was on the market for 5 weeks, down from 11 weeks in the 2012 study. Forty-five percent moved to a larger home, 27 percent bought a comparably sized home and 29 percent downsized. Thirteen percent of sellers wanted to sell earlier but were stalled because their home had been worth less than their mortgage.
The typical seller, who purchased a home nine years earlier, realized a median equity gain of $25,000, a 13 percent increase over the original purchase price, while sellers who were in their homes for 11 to 15 years saw a median gain of $52,000, or 28 percent.
Sellers typically found a real estate agent through a referral by a friend, neighbor or relative, or used the agent in a previous transaction, together cited by 63 percent of respondents; 83 percent are likely to use the agent again or recommend to others.
Like sellers, buyers most commonly choose an agent based on a referral, or had used the agent previously, mentioned by 54 percent of respondents, with trustworthiness and reputation being the most important factors; two out of three buyers interviewed only one agent. Eighty-six percent of buyers are likely to use the same agent again or recommend to others.
Of sellers working with real estate agents, the study found that 81 percent used full-service brokerage, in which agents provide a broad range of services and manage most of the aspects of selling a home. Nine percent of sellers chose a limited set of services, and 10 percent used minimal service, such as simply listing a property on a multiple listing service.
REALTORS® provide all of these types of services, as do non-member agents and brokers, with similar findings for each year since questions about brokerage services were added in 2006.