HomeGain Survey Finds Sellers Don’t Focus on What Home Buyers Want When Selecting a Real Estate Agent

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HomeGain’s Home Buyers and Sellers Listing Preferences survey finds home buyers want to see marketing amenities like photos and floor plans in home listings; A majority of home sellers select listing agents based on fees, web presence and office location rather than on their specific marketing plans.

It is surprising that a large majority of home sellers did not select agents based on the agent’s specific marketing plans designed to meet buyers’ interests.

HomeGain®, a leading online real estate resource that connects home buyers and sellers with real estate professionals, today announced the results of its survey on home buyer listing preferences and home seller listing agent criteria.

HomeGain surveyed over 1,000 home buyers who were asked to rate, on a scale of one to five, the importance of certain home listing amenities and information including, but not limited to, the number of photographs available, neighborhood information, virtual tours and interactive floor plans presented in connection with home listings.

The results show that the most important listings feature (scoring 4.3) buyers want to see is a large number of photographs. The next most important listings feature (scoring 4.1) for buyers are maps that display the location of the listed property.

Top 10 Most Important Property Listing Features for Home Buyers (Cumulative Averages, 1 = Least important, 5 = Most important):

1.    Wide selection of photographs (4.3)
2.    Location of the property on a map (4.1)
3.    Room sizes (4.0)
4.    Floor plans (3.9)
5.    Town name (3.8)
6.    House number (3.57)
7.    Street name (3.57)
8.    Room description (3.51)
9.    360 virtual tours (3.4)
10.    Information on local services, eg. shops and schools (3.2)

Buyers were also asked to rate their interest in basic, 3D and interactive floor plans. On average, a basic floor plan with photographs was the most appealing, with a rating of 3.7 out of 5. 3D floor plans with virtual tours or photographs came in second with a 3.4 rating. Interactive floor plans that allow for full customization like dragging and dropping furniture or adding and removing bedrooms received only moderate interest, receiving ratings of 3.1 and 3.0, respectively.

Home sellers were asked to identify their top three factors for selecting a short list of agents to list their properties. With responses from nearly 800 sellers, 29 percent indicated that agent fees were the main factor that helped them narrow down their choice of agents. Twenty one percent of sellers indicated that having an agent having a strong web presence was an important criterion in helping to select an agent.

Most Important Factors for Sellers to Determine a Short List of Agents (Percentages, Highest to Lowest):

1.    Fees (29%)
2.    Web presence (21%)
3.    Use of virtual tours (13%)
4.    Office location (11%)
5.    Sales board visibility (9%)
6.    Newspaper advertising (8%)
7.    Community involvement (6%)
8.    Use of floor plans (3%)

The survey shows a disconnect between sellers and buyers regarding what information is desired in a property listing. Sellers place more importance on an agent who makes use of virtual tours rather than floor plans. However, according to the survey, buyers found floor plans to be more important than virtual tours.

“It’s no surprise that photographs, maps and floor plans were popular with home buyers,” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain. “It is surprising, however, that a large majority of home sellers did not select agents based on the agent’s specific marketing plans designed to meet buyers’ interests, but rather on the basis of fees and an agent’s office location.”

About HomeGain
HomeGain is a leading provider of online marketing solutions that connect real estate agents and brokers with home buyers and sellers. HomeGain offers free services to find and compare real estate agents, research home values, and view homes for sale. Since 1999 REALTORS® have used HomeGain's real estate marketing programs to connect with consumers, promote their services and grow their business. HomeGain.com has been a top visited real estate website since 1999. HomeGain is your real estate connection.

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