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Annual survey of buyers & sellers


Monday 4 August, 2008

Private Property Sales - Down
Use Of Professional Real Estate Agents - Up
says annual survey of buyers & sellers

“No coincidence that the end of the love affair with private sales happened at the same time property sales slowed”
- C.E.O.

The annual Nielsen Online study into the behaviour of buyers and sellers of property shows a significant increase in homeowners planning to get a professional real estate agent to sell their property instead of a ‘DIY sale.

41% of vendors say they will DEFINITELY list with a real estate agent compared to 35% last year.
(Last year the survey said 50% would try to sell without using an agent.)
Only 14% said they would definitely sell privately in 2008.

“I think this shows a very sober market. Homeowners who enter the market are serious about selling, they don’t want to take chances or waste their time and money. During the boom, everyone seemed to flirt with the idea of selling privately and day dreamed about big price increases but the slow market is showing that vendors have renewed confidence in a professional agent’s ability to find buyers and close a deal.

Despite the market slowing down since the last Nielsen Online survey interest in looking at property online has not dropped away. The numbers are increasing rather than decreasing and the amount of time spent looking is also going up, “In fact we have cracked the million hours a month mark for the last few months”.

1,000,000 HOURS A MONTH


100,000 daily unique browsers to real estate websites – an increase of 22% on last year and despite a 50% fall off in property. (See background below for explanation of unique browsers)

People spend almost 3 hours (167 minutes) on average on specialist real estate websites every week

Should homeowners research real estate agents as well as property during all that time online?

Nielsen asked homeowners how they choose someone to sell their house and the results show that reputation is set to become the most influential factor. The importance of reputation has consistently increased every year since the survey began and it is on track to take ‘key factor’ status.

37% of home owners said ‘reputation’ was the key reason when choosing someone to sell their house – up from 35% last year and 34% in 2006.
Previous history just edged out reputation as the most influential factor with 39% citing ‘used the company before’ as the key reason.

We all know the internet has taken over from newspaper for researching real estate but now it’s also leading the way in assisting vendors with selecting an agent.

Individual agents are increasingly using the web to market themselves through blogs and other forms of social media that helps demonstrate expertise, experience and integrity. Best of all it provides a transparent perspective on their skills enabling vendors to make an informed decision before engaging an agent.

Blogs by NZ real estate agents can be read at:

Survey background
Nielsen Online surveyed nearly 1,200 online users between April and June 2008. The research was undertaken on four selected real estate websites and compared the data to the two previous Nielsen Online surveys in 2006 and 2007. The report was commissioned by a number of companies operating specialist real estate websites and services within the industry and sponsored by . The survey has a margin of error of 2.9%.

Unique Browsers
Each user visiting a website has a unique cookie ID assigned to their browser to
help determine browser uniqueness. The UB figure is calculated by counting
how many unique browsers visit a website each day.
- Two UBs would be recorded if one person looked on a work computer and then again from home.
- Equally only one UB is recorded despite two or more people using/sharing just one computer at work.


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