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There has never been a more competitive time in real estate. Not only does the National Association of REALTORS® report a record 1.37 million members, but the iBuying phenomenon will likely continue to impact the business.

I’ve been in real estate a long time, and when I look back at what the industry was like when I started and compare it to today, there is barely a resemblance. Two of the only things that remain the same are the overwhelming number of buyers and sellers who work with REALTORS®, and those brokerages and agents that differentiate themselves stand above the fray. Obviously, outstanding customer service is critically important. So is being able to understand and articulate what is occurring with local inventory, home prices and sales, along with emerging trends in consumer behavior.

I truly believe NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is one of the most underrated resources in all of real estate. The most recent update is 166 pages filled with some of the greatest information you will ever need to showcase your knowledge and expertise. It’s all yours for under $20 for NAR members.

There are some great findings in the 2019 report that culled data from nearly 6,000 consumers who bought or sold their primary home between July 2018 and June 2019. Let’s start with what buyers shared:

  • The typical buyer was 47 with a median (middle of all responses) household income of $93,200. It took them 10 weeks for their search while looking at a median number of nine homes.
  • Sixty-one percent of recent buyers were married couples, while single females made up 17 percent compared to just 9 percent single males.
  • Eighty-three percent of all purchases were of single-family detached homes, followed by townhomes/row houses (6 percent). Interestingly, only 13 percent of purchases were new construction
  • First-time buyers made up 33 percent of the business, the same as last year. They financed 94 percent of the home compared to 84 percent for repeat buyers.
  • Of all homes purchased, the median distance between the prior and current home was 15 miles.
  • The typical home purchased was built in 1990 and had 1,850 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Here is what sellers shared:

  • Their final sales price was within 99 percent of the list price and the home stayed on the market for a median of three weeks.
  • Thirty-four percent of sellers utilized incentives led by home warranty policies and assistance with closing costs.
  • Moving closer to friends and family was the most cited reason for moving (16 percent), followed by a need for a larger home (13 percent) and job relocation (11 percent).
  • The median seller recorded a $60,000 gain over their original purchase price.
  • The typical seller was 57 years old with a median household income of $102,900.
  • Sellers stayed in their home for 10 years.

Congrats to the REALTOR® community, as 90 percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend them to others. The typical seller recommended their agent at least once, with 36 percent referring them three or more times. These referrals are a great source of business, as 41 percent of buyers used an agent who was recommended by a friend or relative, while another 12 percent used their previous agent.

It’s also important to tout the benefit of having an agent in the selling process. Homes sold by their owner (FSBO) comprised just 8 percent of the market and were sold at a median price of $200,000, 40 percent less than those sold with an agents ($280,000).

Obviously, these incredible stats can be utilized in conversation with current and potential clients, on social media, blogs and video updates and a variety of printed and electronic marketing pieces. Remember, they are most effectively utilized when you draw local examples or match to local trends you are seeing. Use these stats wisely and you will be one more step ahead of the competition.

Sherry Chris is president and CEO of Realogy Expansion Brands. For more information, please visit