Nearly 90% of Buyers Use a Real Estate Agent

By Hope Walborn | June 10, 2024 | 3 min. read

The large majority (89%) of homebuyers in America use a real estate agent to help them through the process. The National Association of Realtors®’ 2024 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report highlights some homebuyer research.

What Buyers Want from Agents

Across all age groups, homebuyers most wanted (50%) help finding the right home to purchase. Other top desires included:

  • Help negotiating the terms of sale (12%)
  • Help with the price negotiations (11%)
  • Help with paperwork (7%)
  • Determining what comparable homes were selling for (7%)
  • Help determining how much home they could afford (4%)

Notably, older buyers (ages 78-98) most wanted help finding the right home to purchase (62%), and younger buyers (ages 25-33) least wanted help doing so (48%). Buyers ages 34-43 most wanted help with price negotiations (14%).

Benefits Agents Provided

For all buyers, the biggest benefit their real estate agents provided them was help understanding the process (61%). Other benefits reported were:

  • Pointing out unnoticed features/faults with the property (58%)
  • Negotiating better sales contract terms (46%)
  • Providing a better list of service providers (e.g. home inspectors) (46%)
  • Improving buyer’s knowledge of search areas (45%)
  • Negotiating a better price (33%)

How Buyers Found Agents

Buyers most commonly found their agents through referrals from friends, neighbors or relatives (43%). Other top ways they found agents included:

  • Used an agent they previously used to buy or sell a home (13%)
  • Inquired about a specific property viewed online (7%)
  • Website (without a specific reference) (7%)
  • Referred by another agent/broker (5%)
  • Saw contact information on a for sale/open house sign (5%)

Older buyers (78-98) were significantly more likely than other age groups to walk into or call an office when an agent was on duty (6%).

Most Important Considerations

The majority of all buyers (71%) interviewed only one agent before deciding who to work with, and 17% interviewed two.

Overall, the most important factors that buyers considered when choosing an agent were:

  • Agent’s experience (21%)
  • Agent was honest and trustworthy (19%)
  • Reputation of agent (15%)
  • Agent was a friend or family member (12%)
  • Agent’s knowledge of the neighborhood (9%)

Personal calls to inform of activities were also important to 73% of all buyers, as well as:

  • Sending postings as soon as a property is listed/the price changes/under contract (70%)
  • Sending property info and communicating via text (71%)
  • Can send market reports on recent listings and sales (50%)
  • Sending emails about buyer’s specific needs (48%)
  • Has a website (29%)

Agent Satisfaction

Buyers were most satisfied by their agent’s knowledge of the purchase process (90%), followed by their:

  • Honesty and integrity (89%)
  • Responsiveness (88%)
  • Knowledge of the real estate market (88%)
  • People skills (87%)
  • Communication skills (86%)
  • Knowledge of the local area (81%)
  • Skills with technology (81%)
  • Negotiation skills (77%)

While many buyers did not recommend their agent at all (30%), many also recommended them four or more times (36%).

For more details on the homebuying process, including signed disclosure statements, buyer representative arrangements, number of times agents were contacted and more, read NAR’s full report.

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