When the first Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was introduced 35 years ago by the National Association of Realtors®, mortgage rates were over four times higher than they are today and first-time buyers made up a larger share of overall sales. In anticipation of the upcoming 2016 survey release one trend that NAR has identified as a noteworthy is the continued role of the Realtor as the centerpiece in the majority of home purchases and sales.
It should come as no surprise that NAR didn’t track buyer and seller data on internet usage in 1981. With the World Wide Web not gaining mass popularity until the 1990’s and realtor. com® introduced, in 1995, the ability to view listings online and then contact a Realtor® was non-existent.
When NAR first began asking the question 21 years ago, only 2 percent of buyers used the internet during their home search. By 2005 usage soared to over three-quarters of buyers, and since 2012, 90 percent or more have gone online during the house hunt.
Despite the internet’s ascending popularity over the past 20 years nearly 90 percent of respondents worked with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home which pulled for-sale-by-owner transactions down to their lowest share ever (8 percent). Realtors® are the source of online real estate data, and they continue to use their real insights and local market knowledge to help bring buyers and sellers together