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Survey Reveals Sellers More Willing to Price Competitively

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (Feb. 21, 2012) –  A recent survey of over 600 Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals in the United States revealed home buyers and sellers are adjusting expectations and “getting real” about real estate in 2012. More than half (51 percent) reported that sellers are more willing to price their homes more competitively than this time last year, and 45 percent said sellers are more willing to change the appearance of their homes to entice buyers than they were one year ago.

Sellers More Willing to De-clutter, De-personalize and Make Repairs

Of those Coldwell Banker professionals surveyed:

  • 94 percent say their sellers are getting rid of clutter and making cosmetic updates, such as fresh paint and minor repairs.
  • 78 percent agree clients are willing to “de-personalize” the home.
  • 59 percent say sellers are even bringing in new home decorations or furniture to help make the home more appealing. 

“De-personalizing and making it easy for a buyer to imagine him or herself living in the property is crucial, especially when there are many homes on the market,” says Jessica Edwards, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Consumer Specialist. “Within the past year, Sellers were more willing to price their homes competitively and took my advice to make their home inviting and appealing to a broad cross-section of potential buyers.”
 

Buyer Preferences are Back to the Basics

Sellers, take note: when it comes to selecting a home, buyers are going back to the basics.  They value new or updated kitchens, bathrooms and open floor plans as the most important features for a new home.

  • 33 percent of surveyed agents say that a new or updated kitchen is the most important feature to homebuyers.
  • 14 percent say the most important feature to homebuyers is an open floor plan, while 12 percent say it is a new or updated bathroom.
  • Only 1 percent of the real estate professionals surveyed say they believe that entertainment rooms or finished basements are the most important feature.

Home Buyers Moving for Babies and Careers
 

The survey also drilled down into which life events are motivating the most people to buy homes.  According to the Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals surveyed, growing families and job relocation are currently the biggest drivers for home buyers in the U.S. 
 

70 percent of real estate professionals say a new baby or growing family is the “most common,” or a “very common” reason buyers search for a new home. 

  • 69 percent say relocation for job reasons.
  • 59 percent say marriage.
  • 48 percent say divorce.
  • 37 percent say retirement.

“The survey shows that today’s buyers are recognizing the true value of a home,” says Budge Huskey, president and chief operating officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “This shift is critical as we return to the home serving as an investment in our lifestyles where the emotional and psychological benefits are of at least equal value to the pure economic investment.”
 

Survey Methodology: Coldwell Banker Real Estate conducted an online survey among 691 Coldwell Banker real estate professionals across the United States about housings trends in 2012. The survey was fielded between January 24 and February 7, 2012.
 

The base (sample size) for calculating results varies slightly from question-to-question.  The approximate sample size answering each question was 615.  Maximum error range based on this sample size - at a 95% level of confidence - is +/- 4 points.   Note that standard error calculation applies to random probability samples and is included herein to serve as a guide-only.

*Some answer percentages in the above may not total 100 percent, if only the most popular responses are listed.  In other cases, respondents had the option to check all that apply, which may mean that percentages total more than 100 percent.
 

About Coldwell Banker®

Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate. Coldwell Banker is the oldest national real estate brand in the United States and today has a network of approximately 83,000 sales agents working in approximately 3,100 offices in 50 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker brand is known for creating innovative consumer services as recently seen by being the first national real estate brand to create an iPad application and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On LocationSM YouTube channel. The Coldwell Banker system is a leader in specialty markets such as resort, new homes and luxury properties through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated.
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