From need-to-know statistics to predictions about the future, Bernice Ross recounts the most important takeaways from NAR’s Realtors Conference & Expo. Here’s what you need to know.

Realtors from across the world convened last week at the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Conference & Expo in San Diego — vaccinated, masked up and ready to face the challenges ahead in 2022.

There was plenty of good news on the economic and legislative fronts, the new 2021 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed some startling findings, and CoStar provided the fireworks as it proclaimed its core value proposition loud and clear: “Your listing, your lead.”

Here’s the lowdown on what happened and you need to know.

NAR successfully defends the 1031 Exchange

Realtors were ecstatic to learn NAR had defeated the Biden’s administration attempt to eliminate 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange.

Kudos to NAR’s leadership and all the Realtors who fought this at the grassroots level. Not only did they stop it, NAR’s chief economist, Dr. Laurence Yun, went on to say, “There is no proposed bill in D.C. to remove it.” 

2021 is a banner year for the industry despite the pandemic

According to Dr. Yun, “Once the numbers are counted up at the end of December, we will find out home sales this year would have been the best in 15 years since 2006.” 

These numbers are a tribute to the resilience and perseverance of the Realtor community as it came roaring back from what is arguably the greatest disruptive event of our lifetimes. 

Supply chain issues expected to improve in 2022

When Americans received their stimulus checks, they went on a buying spree. The problem was that factories were still closed due to the pandemic. The result was there was nothing in the pipeline.

Dr. Yun expects supply chain issues to improve in 2022, although the worker shortage will continue to be an ongoing challenge for the entire economy. 

Need-to-know stats from the 2021 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

NAR just released its 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Here are some of its most important findings.   

The 2 most important statistics for your business

Do you know what percentage of buyers and sellers only interview one agent before they decide to list or purchase? 

In 2020, 67 percent of the buyers and 75 percent of the sellers only interviewed one agent. In the new 2021 profile, 73 percent of the buyers and a whopping 82 percent of the sellers only interviewed one agent!

These numbers are incredibly important given that the first agent who meets with the buyer or seller in person is the agent who gets the business. 

The No. 1 takeaway here is that as soon as you receive a buyer or seller lead, your highest priority must be to set a face-to-face appointment, even if they’re not planning on transacting right away.

With buyers, the goal of the meeting is to build your relationship by helping them by having them check their credit report for errors, seeing if they will qualify for down payment assistance, and beginning the mortgage pre-approval process. Of course, you will also be able to determine whether the buyer is also a potential seller. 

Here’s why this is incredibly important. According to the 2021 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, 51 percent of all buyers owned their previous residence. If you’re working with baby boomers, those numbers range from 65 to 85 percent. 

In other words, if you didn’t follow up on 50 buyer leads this year, you missed the opportunity to meet with at least 25 potential sellers. 

In terms of setting a meeting with the seller, explain that the purpose of the meeting is to provide them with an updated valuation of their property plus some additional information and reports. Two excellent sources of these reports are and 

If the seller is purchasing in the area, update them on market changes and any changes in interest rates, and assist them in beginning the preapproval process.  

Other important findings  

  • A major drop in how long sellers stay in their homes 

For the last decade, the median length of time sellers stayed in their homes has hovered between nine to 10 years. This year, that number dropped to eight years. This number hasn’t been this low since 2010.

  • A new high for median prices: 100 percent of asking price

2021 set another record. For the first time since NAR started tracking these numbers in 2002, the average sales price in the U.S. was 100 percent of the listing price.

  • Average market time plunges

According to the 2021 profile, there has also been a major decrease in market time: 

“For all sellers, time on market decreased this year to a median of just one week, from three weeks in 2020. Time on the market and the ratio of sales price to listing price have a strong relationship; generally, the longer a home is on the market the greater the discount from the listing price upon sale … Sixty-two percent of sellers reported their home was on the market for two weeks or less.”

  • Referrals still reign supreme 

Seventy-three percent of the sellers either knew or worked with the agent based on a referral. 

  • FSBOs: a dying breed

It is becoming increasingly difficult for FSBOs to sell without the assistance of an agent. Only 7 percent of all sellers were FSBOs, however, only 3 percent didn’t know the buyer vs. 4 percent who already knew the buyer.

The 4 percent who knew the buyer includes intra-family transfers due to death, divorce, conveying part of the ownership interest to children, etc. 

  • Stop worrying about iBuyers

According to the 2021 Profile, “While the survey asked about iBuyers as a selling method, less than one percent of sellers used these online only programs.”

Fireworks from CoStar

Make no mistake about it — CoStar intends to become a dominant player in the residential real estate tech space. Its branding was everywhere at the conference.

The company had a huge booth where it hosted a Tesla and vacation giveaway. Its banners were everywhere, and plus, it posted its ads on vacant buildings in the Gas Lamp Quarter as well as on the convention buses.

To top it off, Saturday night, it closed most of the Gas Lamp Quarter for a Keith Urban conference, complete with this: 


As you prepare for 2022, you must make setting face-to-face appointments your top priority, whether it’s a buyer or seller lead, past client or someone in your referral database. Strive to be top-of-mind. Remember, 73 percent of the buyers and 82 percent of the sellers hire the first agent they see face to face when they’re ready to transact. Make sure that agent is you!

Catch up on all of Inman’s NAR coverage

Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUP and, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at and her new agent sales training at

Bernice Ross | NAR
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