A few days ago, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its 2015 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers. The Profile provides tremendous insight into the average consumer’s most important financial transaction.
The typical home buyer was 44 years old with a median household income of $86,100. First-time buyers comprised 32 percent of respondents and were more than 10 years younger – an average of 31 years old. 83 percent of buyers invested in a detached single-family home and anticipated remaining in their home for 14 years.
It is not surprising that 64 percent of buyers cited the American dream – a desire to own their own home – as the primary reason for purchasing. This statistic is up from 53 percent from last year’s survey. For repeat buyers, the desire to own a home of their own paired with wanting to own a larger home were both the top reason given, each at 13 percent.
Regarding marital status, married couples comprised the largest group of buyers. 67 percent were married couples, with only 7 percent unmarried. For singles, 15 percent were females and 9 percent males. It seems amidst the ongoing movement of “equal pay for equal work” females are undeterred when it comes to home ownership and are more likely to invest than their male counterparts.
For Realtors, who are committed to serving their clients and customers, it is no surprise that 87 percent of buyers bought their home through a real estate agent. Even more encouraging is that 88 percent of buyers indicated they would use their agents again or recommended their agent to others.
The typical home seller was 54 years old, with a median household income of $104,100. In line with both the local and national reports of rising home prices, sellers sold their home for a median of $40,000 more than they purchased it. In most cases, this return on investment was realized within 9 years of initial purchase.
Sellers reported various reasons for entering the market, with the most common reason at 16 percent being a desire for more space. The second most cited reason by sellers at 14 percent was a job relocation.
The importance of using a Realtor again was reinforced among seller respondents. 89 percent of sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home, with only 8 percent of sellers being For Sale Buy Owners (FSBOs). This statistic is the lowest percent of FSBOs recorded since 1981 when NAR began this annual survey of buyers and sellers.

By Travis Close, ABR, GREEN, GRI, e-PRO

President, Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors