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ONLINE RESOURCES ABOUND! So Why Do I Need To Hire A Real Estate Agent?


Looking for a new home?  Or, looking to sell your current home?

Chances are, you'll start the process online

According to a July, 2008 Study of Home Buyers and Sellers by J.D. Power and Associates, 68% of home buyers used online websites to help them find their new home.  Evaluations were based on survey responses from over 3,200 home buyers or sellers who bought or sold between April, 2007 and July of this year.

For sellers, 61% used internet resources to help them market their property.  But when it came down to selecting the right home from among many, or getting down to the nitty gritty of listing their home on the market, most ended up choosing a Profesional Realtor.

“Although the Internet provides home buyers and sellers with the ability to perform some essential tasks—such as listing a home for sale or researching a neighborhood in which to purchase a home—it still does not replace the importance of a good real estate agent,” said Jim Howland of J.D. Power and Associates, an international marketing information services firm involved with market research and customer satisfaction studies.

“Particularly in an uncertain real estate market, professional advice from agents can be especially valuable to buyers and sellers. The knowledge and expertise provided by experienced agents is an important benefit of using a full-service real estate company.”

This was the first time J.D. Power conducted a survey ascertaining the importance of Realtors participation in the buy or sell transaction.  For home buyers, 65% ranked their agent most critical in their choice of a Buyer's Agent, followed by their office (21%), and their overall menu of services - 13%.

For sellers, once again, the agent selected was most critical to a satisfactory experience, according to 43% of survey respondents.  Marketing was not far behind, identified as critical by 38% of those who responded, followed by the selected office (12%), and, finally, the services menu, 7%.

For home buyers, Keller Williams Realty, the affiliated company for Dean's Team Chicago, got the highest overall score of the major companies.  In the Chicago area, Keller Williams has 17 Offices (or "Market Centers," as the company refers to them), and nearly 1,800 agents.  On a 1,000 point scale, KW scored 831 total points, and received highest ratings in all three categories of concern - the agent, the office, and available services.

Among home sellers, Prudential ranks the highest, with 793 out of 1,000 possible points, based on their marketing program and office amenities.  Coldwell Banker and ReMax follow close behind.

The J.D. Power Study found the average market time for a home for sale was just over 6 months.  Those represented by the highest-ranking real estate franchise companies, however, had a slightly shorter market time - roughly 5.5 months. 

Other findings:

  • 46% of those responding found their real estate agent through a personal referral from framily or friends.  28% used the Internet to select their agent, 23% used the agent they used previously, and 11% selected their agent from a printed real estate book or the Yellow Pages Directory.
  • On average, home buyers were shown approximately 13 homes before making a purchase.  
  • According to surveyed home sellers, each home was shown an average of 11 times during the listing period.  Public Open Houses, their effectiveness being questioned by many in Real Estate. were held an average of five times before the home sold.

Indeed, especially in a somewhat sluggish Chicago Real Estate Market, most still feel they need a Professional Real Estate Practitioner to help them navigate the buying or selling process.

See the J.D. Power Survey for more info, as well as Amy Le's post on her "Opening Doors" blog from yesterday morning.


Posted: Thursday, September 04, 2008 1:19 PM by Dean's Team


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