Consumers want their real estate agent to take charge

Consumers in the U.S. are generally happy with the service they receive from real estate agencies. On Aug. 6, J.D. Power released its 2014 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Study, which provided details on how satisfied homebuyers and sellers were during their time working with real estate agents.

The study assessed the sentiment of both first-time and repeat buyers and sellers and ranked the top real estate brokerages in the U.S. For sellers, five factors were examined: marketing, the agent/salesperson, closing process, real estate office and a number of other services. For buyers, all dimensions except marketing were evaluated.

"First-time buyers need clear communication and want to be walked through the purchase process every step of the way," said Christina Cooley, director in the diversified services industries practice at J.D. Power. "The more seamless the experience, the less overwhelmed customers are likely to be."

Although all consumers tracked in the study wanted an agent who would take charge, buyers and sellers had different opinions about where a real estate professional should focus his or her attention. Sellers wanted their agents to put most of the effort into the marketing of the home. This gives them a way to determine how well their experts are facilitating the sale of their house. Buyers, on the other hand, were more concerned about their relationship with their agent.

Getting the right agent is key
In the age of high-speed Internet connectivity, some may wonder why agents are still necessary. Just as you can find information about our mortgages online, you can research much of the information required to buy or sell a home on the Web. However, there are times when it's best to get professional help. Real estate agents are experts in negotiating the right sale price, comparing the closing price of comparable properties and pairing compatible buyers and sellers.

Selecting the perfect real estate agent is more than a convenience, especially when it comes to understanding the complex language in the many contracts and forms that are part of the buying and selling processes. As shown by the study, many consumers were happy with their professional, so don't shy away from letting an expert help you get the right sale price or home that you want.

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