Thursday, August 16, 2012

Buyers less happy with agents, companies

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. – Aug. 16, 2012 – J.D. Power and Associates released its fifth annual homebuyer and seller satisfaction study. According to the market research and forecast company, buyer satisfaction with agents and companies dropped to its lowest level since reporting began.

The study, now in its fifth year, gauges homebuyers’ and sellers’ attitudes if they worked with one of the nation’s largest real estate companies. J.D. Powers says it measures overall satisfaction by examining three factors: agent/salesperson, office and a variety of additional services. It examines four factors for the home-selling experience: agent/salesperson, marketing, office and a variety of additional services. The study is based on about evaluations from 2,790 respondents who bought or sold a home between March 2011 and April 2012.

Overall satisfaction among homebuyers hit its lowest level since the study began, averaging 789 on a 1,000-point scale, compared with 797 in 2011. Satisfaction among sellers declined as well, averaging 768 compared with 779 in 2011.

“A key reason satisfaction is down is that customer expectations are not being met, either in terms of sellers having to compromise on their listing price, or buyers compromising on the home’s condition and size,” says Christina Cooley, senior manager of the real estate practice at J.D. Power and Associates. She calls it “frustrating all around.”

Cooley says the current market has made many buyers and sellers unhappy with the home sale process. “At the end of the day, real estate companies may best satisfy their customers by keeping them informed, educating them on comparable sales information and following up with them after the closing.”

Additional findings

• Although an agent has the largest impact on overall client satisfaction, customers’ loyalty lies with the real estate company more than the agent. Less than 20 percent of customers say they “definitely will” switch real estate companies if their agent moves elsewhere.

• The highest-performing real estate companies consistently capture a greater proportion of the listing price. On average, sellers reported receiving 89 percent of their listing price.

• 60 percent of people surveyed said they’re repeat buyers, and 70 percent said they’re repeat sellers.

• One-third (33 percent) of customers said they’re likely to consider buying or selling a home in the next 12 months.

• Among homebuyers, 17 percent purchased a foreclosure and 14 percent purchased a short sale.

• Among sellers, 14 percent of sales were short sales.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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