Buyers of all ages were most often referred to their agent by a friend, neighbor or relative, although older buyers were more likely to have worked with the same agent they previously used to buy or sell a home. In choosing a real estate agent, the agent’s honesty and trustworthiness was the most important factor for all ages except for senior buyers, who more often mentioned the agent’s reputation, which was the second most important factor for other age groups.
Nearly nine out of ten buyers of all ages were satisfied with their agent’s honesty and integrity, knowledge of the purchase process, and knowledge of the real estate market. A comparable level would be likely to use their agent again or recommend to others.
Younger buyers typically moved to larger, higher priced homes, but there is a clear trend of downsizing to smaller homes among both Younger and Older Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation.
The reasons for selling a home also varied by generation. Younger sellers were more likely to need a larger home or move for job relocation. In comparison, older buyers wanted to be closer to family or friends, or says their home was too large or they were moving due to retirement.
The older the seller, the longer they were in their home. Millennials had been in their previous home for a median of five years, while the Silent Generation stayed for 14 years.
Sellers of all ages also typically found a real estate agent through a referral or friend, or used the same real estate broker or agent from a previous transaction.
While all sellers wanted help in marketing their home to potential buyers, younger sellers were more likely to want their agent to help with selling the home within a specific timeframe and pricing the home competitively.
NAR mailed a 122-question survey in July 2013 to a national sample of 148,011 home buyers and sellers who purchased their homes between July 2012 and June 2013, using a random sample of county records. It generated 8,767 usable responses, weighted to be representative of sales on a geographic basis; the adjusted response rate was 6.1 percent.
All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2013 with the exception of income data, which are for 2012. Because of rounding and omissions for space, percentage distributions for some findings may not add up to 100 percent.
The 2014 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study can be found here.
For more information, visit www.realtor.org.