PARSIPPANY, NJ--(Marketwire - Nov 27, 2012) - ERA Real Estate, a global franchising leader, recognizes that every homebuyer brings unique needs and distinct personalities to the process. As the country emerges from the most significant real estate downturn in a generation, ERA® brokers have noticed some post-recession behavioral shifts among homebuyers that reflect a new real estate landscape.
To better understand current homebuyer behaviors in the marketplace, ERA Real Estate enlisted acclaimed clinical psychologist Leslie Reisner, Ph.D, one of the nation's leading experts on behavioral change.
"As our economy continues to recover, buyers are definitely on the move," said Reisner. "However, the way consumers approach buying a home today is different than it was during the real estate boom. Lifestyles have changed and therefore, behaviors have changed. Having insights into these evolving attitudes and behaviors not only helps consumers identify their priorities, it also enables real estate professionals to appropriately tailor their level of service to reflect those needs."
Following are four prevalent post-recession homebuyer behaviors identified by ERA Real Estate brokers:
Well-researched and knowledgeable, "in the know" buyers have invested a great deal of time understanding the many options available to them and are very clear on their preferences. This type of buyer is more inclined to view the home primarily as a foundation for his or her life rather than as an investment vehicle, which was the prevailing attitude during the real estate boom. They also know their thresholds. For example, a buyer with children may research the school district prior to narrowing down a neighborhood. Once they have found it, they will not compromise on the area but may compromise on the size of the house or their commuting time in order to land at the location they desire.
"A good number of clients know exactly what they want and are savvy with pricing," said broker Ranelle Birmingham of ERA Sarver Real Estate, Inc., in Leesville, La. "I have seen a pattern of buyers making lower offers than normal and then walking away to another house that meets their criteria if the offer is not accepted. However, what is great about this behavioral type is that during the transaction period, they come to the table with likes and dislikes and a willingness to negotiate based on their research, which is very helpful to the broker."
As a result of eroded personal wealth, particularly among Baby Boomers, and a tight job market for young professionals, ERA brokers are seeing an emerging trend of multiple generations living under one roof. Buyers in this situation are not only reacting to current conditions, but also planning for their future, keeping their immediate and extended family top-of-mind when purchasing a home.
"One trend we are seeing is buyers choosing homes based on their capability to accommodate more than one family group," said broker Becky Russell of ERA Pacesetters Realty in Cary, N.C. "Therefore, they also take their extended family's opinions and needs into consideration when deciding on a property and location."
As consumer confidence improves, many consumers are saying "no" to do-it-yourself projects and "yes" to move-in ready homes. With an improving real estate market and increasing home values, move up buyers now have the means to pay a little more for up-to-date properties versus the days when many buyers were willing to invest sweat equity in a fixer upper to save cash up front.
"Think HGTV," said broker William Hurt of ERA Shields Real Estate in Colorado Springs, Co. "There are buyers out there who want premium properties. Some have to compromise on price to get them but will do so in order to gain a home in great condition."
"Do not supersize me!" Many current buyers who adjusted their lifestyles to simpler means to weather the Great Recession intend to maintain that lifestyle even as signs of a recovery prevail. For them, gone are the days of the expensive manse; they would rather a smaller home with less upkeep so they can enjoy their hobbies, travel, and relationships. This behavioral type is most often found among empty nesters wishing to downsize and eco-conscious buyers looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
ERA Real Estate is an innovative franchising leader in the residential real estate industry with 40 years experience in developing consumer-oriented products and services. The ERA network includes approximately 31,000 brokers and sales associates and approximately 2,300 offices throughout the United States and 35 countries and territories. Each office is independently owned and operated. ERA Real Estate is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global provider of real estate services. ERA Real Estate information is available at: ERA.com.