RISMEDIA, February 17, 2011—In a landmark study examining the home buying and selling preferences of consumers in the Mid-Atlantic region, 95% reported that working with a real estate professional is just as important, if not more important, than it was just a few years ago. The survey results were released in a new research paper entitled Keepin’ it Real, by MRIS, the area’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and a leading developer of real estate information technology. According to the report, which can be found on www.MRIS.com, today’s consumers recognize this is not the time to complete a real estate transaction on their own, and are placing a stronger emphasis on the agent’s professional skills. As such, trustworthiness was ranked as the most critical factor in choosing an agent, followed by experience, willingness to look out for a client’s interest, expertise in negotiating contracts, responsiveness, familiarity with contracts and knowledge of the local community. These requirements are evidence that consumers are seeking more than simple guidance, they are looking for an expert they can trust to execute a step-by-step process throughout the entire transaction. “In today’s housing market especially, this is no time to go it alone,” noted John L. Heithaus, Chief Marketing Officer of MRIS. “With 95% of all buyers and sellers reporting that working with a professional real estate agent or broker is important, it is evident that consumers understand how vital they are to the process. A real estate professional has the industry knowledge, networking ability and expert guidance on home buying and selling to deliver top notch customer service and advice, and provide a successful experience for consumers.” Additionally, the Keepin’ it Real report reveals that 68% of buyers and sellers rated their agent with a six or seven, on a 7-point satisfaction scale. This high level of consumer confidence reinforces the credibility of the real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic area. Nearly half of the consumers surveyed, or 48%, found their agent by way of referral. Moreover, 80% of consumers stated that they would recommend their agent to a friend or family member, especially those that purchased or sold a home in the past twelve months. Whereas in years past, the agent was the first step in the home buying or selling process, today, Internet-savvy consumers can gather information and educate themselves, long before contacting an agent. The Internet empowers consumers to search for homes and neighborhood information, compare pricing and explore financing options on their own. Yet, despite all of the tools and resources available, when it comes time to actually buy or sell a home, there is nothing more valuable than the industry knowledge, expertise and guidance a real estate professional brings to the table. The Keepin’ it Real research paper is confirmation that today, more than ever, a real estate professional is an invaluable resource in the home buying and selling process. For more information, visit www.mris.com.
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