REALTORS®’ Age & First-Time Home Buyers’ Age: Mind the Gap

  • dyk060211“Buyers these days just keep getting younger and younger!”  While this is true, the most recent data from the 2011 Member Profile shows that REALTORS® are also getting older.
  • The typical member in 1999 was a spring chicken at 52 years of age. In 2011, NAR’s typical member was 56 years of age.
  • The age of first-time buyers has also slid in recent years as home buying affordability opened the market. The more recent data from the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows the typical age of first-time buyers is now 30, down from 32 in 2006.
  • Younger consumers are changing many retail markets and real estate is no exception. The internet is playing a larger role in home buying. Younger buyers use the internet more frequently in their home search process than older buyers—95 percent of buyers under 44 used the internet compared to 62 percent of buyers older than 65. Also, younger buyers typically want a different type of home than an older, repeat buyer may want: smaller, closer to urban areas, and a higher priority placed on proximity to entertainment.
  • If this trend continues, how will you bridge the age difference between yourself and buyers?
  • For more information on the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, click here >. For more information on the Member Profile, click here > .

Jessica Lautz, Managing Director, Survey Research and Communications

Jessica Lautz is the Managing Director of Survey Research and Communications. Jessica analyzes data and writes annual studies such as the Member Profile, the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, and the Commercial Member Profile.

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  1. Quite interesting! As house prices get lower, young people (and the not-so young as well) can now do the plunge and own a house, considering that they’re only in their mid-senior years.

  2. I got my real estate license 20 years ago (in Boise, Idaho) when I was 30 after leaving the corporate workforce. I thought the Realtors were really old then, but now I guess I am only 6 years younger than the average Realtor.

    To bridge the gap, you just have to learn to communicate with first time home buyers on their level, via email and now via texting and QR codes for marketing on our signs and flyers.

  3. Quite interesting findings! Indeed, as home prices continue to dip, more financially equipped and stable individuals – such as those in their early and mid-30s – can now afford to buy and own houses.

  4. The first time homebuyers that I am helping find a home for are my own son’s age! And, because of the prices being so low, these young people are buying homes that used to be second and third homes as their first. They aren’t satisfied with just a small three bedroom, one bath home. Now they want a neighborhood and the four bedroom and two and a half bath home and tell themselves they will live there long after their future children are in high school. Who am I to argue. If I were just starting out as a homebuyer, I would do the same..

  5. At 47 years old and having become a REALTOR at 39 years old, I knew many of my peers were older than me. My challenge and the challenge of the younger REALTORS coming into the business is communicating with each generation of REALTORS. I am amazed when I come across the agents who do not text, barely email, don’t have websites yet continue to complain when they see their business being taken over by the younger generation. Give it 10 years. The average age will be in the low to mid 40’s! Older agents better figure the technology out, or hire one of the younger agents and mentor them rather than fight them.

  6. Communicating effectively with Gen Y is key. Recently I attended a Coldwell Banker Residental Brokerage event with Jason Dorsey, the Gen Y Guy. He gave a high energy presentation on how to communicate with younger buyers. Becoming attuned to the style and attitude of Gen Y is crucial!

  7. Ryan Hudson

    I am 21 years old and married! I know that seems crazy to you but I have been with my wife before we were married since very young and we love each other…. aside from that we are looking to buy houses as well. we found a four bedroom 1.5 bath house right in our price range with the same thought.. why buy a cheap starter home when regular homes are so affordable!

  8. There’s a lot more to bridging this age gap. It’s not all about technology and social networking.

    There’s a certain mentality with this age group… They’re problem solvers, goal orientated, and ready for stability with a do-it-yourself approach to life.