Financing the Home Purchase

  • Eighty-eight percent of recent buyers financed their home purchase. Those who financed their home purchase typically financed 90 percent.
  • First-time buyers who financed their home typically financed 96 percent of their home compared to repeat buyers at 84 percent.
  • For 61 percent of buyers, the source of the downpayment came from their savings. Thirty-five percent of buyers cited using the proceeds from the sale of a primary residence, which was the next most commonly reported way of securing a downpayment.
  • Forty percent of buyers saved for their downpayment for six months or less.
  • The most difficult step in the home buying process was saving for a downpayment, as cited by 13 percent of respondents.
  • Of buyers who said saving for a downpayment was difficult, 49 percent of buyers reported that student loans made saving for a downpayment difficult. Forty percent cited credit card debt, and 34 percent cited car loans as also making saving for a downpayment difficult.
  • Buyers continue to see purchasing a home as a good financial investment. Eighty-two percent reported they view a home purchase as a good investment.

Home Sellers and Their Selling Experience

  • The typical home seller was 54 years old, with a median household income of $100,700.
  • For all sellers, the most commonly cited reason for selling their home was that it was too small (18 percent), followed by the desire to move closer to friends and family (15 percent), and a job relocation (14 percent).
  • Sellers typically lived in their home for 10 years before selling, an increase from nine years in last year’s report.
  • Eighty-nine percent of home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home.
  • For recently sold homes, the final sales price was a median 98 percent of the final listing price.
  • Recently sold homes were on the market for a median of four weeks.
  • Thirty-six percent of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers.
  • This year, home sellers cited that they sold their homes for a median of $43,100 more than they purchased it.
  • Sixty-one percent of sellers were very satisfied with the selling process.

Home Selling and Real Estate Professionals

  • Sixty-four percent of sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative or used an agent they had worked with before to buy or sell a home.
  • Seventy-two percent of recent sellers contacted only one agent before finding the right agent they worked with to sell their home.
  • Ninety-two percent of sellers listed their homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the number one source for sellers to list their home.
  • Seventy-seven percent of sellers reported they provided the agents’ compensation.
  • The typical seller has recommended their agent twice since selling their home. Thirty-three percent of sellers recommended their agent three or more times since selling their home.
  • Eighty-five percent said that they would definitely (70 percent) or probably (15 percent) recommend their agent for future services.

For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) Sellers

  • Only eight percent of recent home sales were FSBO sales again this year. For the second year, this is the lowest share recorded since this report started in 1981.
  • The median age for FSBO sellers is 59 years. Seventy-three percent of FSBO sales were by married couples that have a median household income of $100,600.
  • FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $185,000 last year (down from $210,000 the year prior), and significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $245,000.
  • FSBO homes sold more quickly on the market than agent assisted homes. Sixty-seven percent of FSBO homes sold in less than two weeks—often because homes are sold to someone the seller knows.
  • Seventy-one percent of successful FSBO sellers who knew the buyer were satisfied with the process of selling their home.


 This annual survey conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® of recent home buyers and sellers helps to gain insight into detailed information about their unique experience with this transaction.