And for those homesellers who list with agents, you might guess that they’re favoring the limited-service variety — commonly referred to as “discount agents” — more than ever.
But you’d be dead wrong on both counts, according to figures released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The share of recent homesellers who sold with an agent remained at a record high of 89 percent in the last year, and a record-high share of those professionals provided a broad range of services, rather than a more limited set, NAR reported in the 2016 edition of its annual “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.”
As agent popularity soared, for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sales scraped along at an all-time low of 8 percent of all sales.
That’s the same level NAR reported in 2015, down from 12 percent in 2006 and 15 percent in 1981, the year NAR began tracking FSBO marketshare.
Anemic housing inventory and the spread of technology also haven’t given a boost to agents who put more of the work in a seller’s hands, typically in exchange for a below-market fee.
A record 83 percent of recent homesellers worked with an agent who provides a “broad range of services and management of most aspects of a home sale.”
That’s up from 79 percent in NAR’s 2015 report and tied with an all-time high reported in 2006, the first year NAR began tracking marketshare of broker service types.
Only 9 percent of agents listed a home on the multiple listing service (MLS) “and performed few if any additional services” in the last year, while just 8 percent provided “a limited set of services as requested by the seller,” according to NAR.
Buyer’s agents are flourishing in the digital age as well.
Nearly 88 percent of recent homebuyers purchased a home through an agent, up from 87 percent in 2015 and down just 1 percentage point from a record high of 89 percent in 2011 and 2012.
NAR based its figures on 5,465 responses from a random national sample of consumers who recently sold and purchased a primary residence. Every respondent had to have bought a home between July of 2015 and June of 2016.