Massachusetts Home Buyers and Sellers by the Numbers

Massachusetts Home Buyers and Sellers by the Numbers

by NEAR President Tom Courtney

In collaboration with the National Association of REALTORS®, our Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® also conducts an annual survey of home buyers and sellers, which details the preferences of local consumers in the home search and sale processes. As part of this study, the Massachusetts report offers a profile of the typical home buyer and seller in the Bay State as well as extensive data on the personal decisions and market factors that characterize the home buying and selling experience for our state’s residents.

When you check out the study’s results, you’ll find a lot of good information on the characteristics of home buyers and sellers that can help you in your business. For example, 55 percent of buyers were first-time home buyers, compared to 50 percent nationwide. This high percentage is most likely due to the fact that 2010 was the year of the federal home buyer tax credits. The study also shows that the typical buyer here was 32 years old and had a median income of $82,100.

Beyond the basic figures, I believe that we should all focus on the home search process.  For example:


For more than one-third of home buyers, the first step in the home buying process was looking online for properties.
95 percent of home buyers used the internet to search for homes.
Real estate agents were viewed as a useful information source by 80 percent of buyers.
90 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent.
Two percent of buyers purchased a home in foreclosure.
48 percent of buyers found their agent through a referral from a friend or family member.
65 percent of buyers would use their real estate agent again or recommend the agent to others.


94 percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their homes.
Sellers typically sold their homes for 95 percent of the listing price, and 20 percent reported that they reduced their asking price at least once.
46 percent of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agent through a referral by friends or family, and 24 percent used the agent they had worked with previously to buy or sell a home.
92 percent of sellers reported that their home was listed or advertised on the internet.
Among sellers who used an agent, 87 percent reported that they would use that agent again or recommend to others.

FSBO’s (For Sale by Owner)

Four percent of home sellers sold their home without the assistance of an agent.  This is somewhat lower than the national share of 9 percent.
The primary reason that sellers choose to sell their home without the assistance of an agent is that the buyer contacted the seller directly.