Eighty-one percent of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community believes that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality will make the community feel more fiscally protected and confident, according to the 2015 LGBT Home Buyer and Seller Survey.
“All eyes are on the Supreme Court,” according to Jeff Berger, founder and president of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP). “A positive ruling on marriage equality will allow members of the LGBT community to feel they are part of the American dream and will be great for the real estate industry.”
The survey, the first of its kind, was conducted by NAGLREP. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate was a sponsor of the survey and First American Title a supporting sponsor.
Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC, said, “As real estate professionals, we should never stop learning and educating ourselves on the changing consumer landscape. The LGBT community has a tremendous amount of purchase power, and this survey will hopefully spark much-needed conversation as to how to exceed the expectations of this population as they undergo the home buying and selling processes. The dream of homeownership is alive and well for the LGBT community and it’s our duty to help them achieve this dream.”
The survey revealed that 54 percent of the LGBT community own some type of real estate. For current LGBT homeowners, the top motivators to purchase a new home are the desire for a home in a better city or neighborhood (76 percent) and a desire for a bigger home (57 percent). Getting married to a partner is also a strong motivator (56 percent).
LGBTs looking to purchase a home want to find a LGBT-friendly agent who has an excellent reputation as a Realtor®. Eight-six percent of LGBTs considering purchasing a home think it’s important that their agent be LGBT-friendly.
“Only 13 percent of the LGBT respondents believe their agent must be LGBT identified,” Berger said. “I think this is a tremendous opportunity for all agents. This survey shows that all LGBT clients want to be treated fairly and most are willing to work with all agents.”
The survey revealed that 73 percent of LGBTs are concerned about housing discrimination, either in purchase a home or renting. And this concern includes discrimination by real estate agents, home sellers, landlords and neighbors.
“The buying power of the LGBT community is great,” he added. “This is an $850 billion market. And the LGBT community has a higher-than-average proportional buyer. It’s an amazing sign that 89 percent of LGBT homeowners firmly believe that owning a home is a good investment.
“It’s important for Realtors® to pay close attention to their online reviews of their service,” Berger said. “Ninety-five percent of LGBTs will look for an agent with the highest reviews on service and responsiveness while looking online. They want their agents to know about the communities (74 percent), have insight into real estate trends (55 percent) and advanced listings (53 percent).”