3 Homebuyer trends real estate agents need to know

In today’s housing market, real estate professionals need the latest data in order to stay competitive. They also need to know who to target and when. The Orchard Marriage or Mortgage Report released earlier this month has shed light on some interesting trends surrounding relationship stages and family planning.

The information from the survey conducted by Orchard can be utilized by real estate agents in order to target certain demographics and create smart marketing strategies. So, what can real estate agents learn about their likely homebuyers from the survey’s findings? 

1. For many homebuyers, it’s mortgage first, marriage second

One of the major takeaways from Orchard’s report surrounds the buying trends of couples who aren’t yet married or don’t plan on nuptials at all. A whopping  58% of unmarried couples would consider buying a house prior to getting married and of those unmarried couples, 37% expressed that they would want both names on the home title. In contrast 51% of married couples prefer to have both names listed. 

When it comes to timeline, buying a home may come sooner in a relationship than expected. 25% of Americans would begin exploring real estate with a partner they’ve been dating for six months. While that may come as a surprise to many of us, a more surprising 10% of Northeast residents would consider saying “I do” to buying a property with a partner they’ve been with for less than six months. On the West Coast, however, that number falls to just 3%. 

And when it comes to potential separation or divorce? Half of couples, both married and unmarried, indicate they would opt to sell the house and distribute the equity equally in the event of separation. 27% of married individuals, however, would prefer to stay in the house and buy out their partner’s share in the case of divorce. 

While the mortgage first, marriage second trend is becoming more normalized, Realtors can’t forsake cohabitors who aren’t in romantic relationships. 26% of Americans hope to own property with one or more of their family members and 6% would even opt to buy a home with a platonic friend.

Finding out there is one on the way can have a serious impact on life plans, including home buying. In fact, 88% of parents expressed increased interest in buying a home upon finding out they were expecting a child. 24% of expectant parents shared that they were already in the midst of looking at home listings during the first trimester of pregnancy, with an additional 38% starting their search by the second trimester. 

For parents expecting multiples, such as twins or triplets, 97% reported that their interest in home buying surged and 4 out of 5 parents perused listings prior to their delivery or adoption date. And as families grow, so does their desire for more square footage. 

A staggering 39% of American parents with home buying regrets feel that they don’t have the right size home for their current needs and 15% of parents shared that one or more children would be enough to upgrade to a larger home. 29% of parents reported that two more kids would be the tipping point in terms of needing more room and one-third of parents would upgrade their home size if three kids were to join their family. 

But home size isn’t the only factor on the minds of expectant parents. Access to extended family members within close proximity was ranked as the most important consideration for parents with 92% sharing it was of significant importance. Additionally, 81% also pinpointed neighborhood diversity as a factor of importance when choosing where to raise a family. 

Realtors can levage such information to help pair their clients with the right listings and can take pride in knowing that 86% of parents who bought a home think that they made the right decision. These parents believe they made a solid investment and they feel their own sense of pride in their homeowner status. 

3. Singles still aspire to be homeowners 

Although singles may not have been big homebuyers a decade ago, the tide is changing. Realtors today should get to know the single customer base in their area and learn how to best serve them. Especially the single women in their area. 

50% of women have looked at online home listings compared to only 37% of men who reported casually browsing. Moreover, 75% of hopeful homebuying women have saved $20k or more for a down payment in contrast to 69% of men. And 51% of women have applied for a mortgage or home loan compared to just 41% of men. 

Getting familiar with the single female home buyer could end up being a great move for Realtors. It’s reported that single, divorced or widowed women are 2.5x more likely to have savings for a down payment compared to men at a similar stage in life and 38% of divorced women currently own or hope to own property in the future. 

Whether it’s unmarried couples, expectant and new parents, or house-hunting singles, knowing the wants and needs of first-time homebuyers can up your game as a Realtor. Armed with the right data, Realtors can target hopeful homeowners and arrive ready with listings that match each type of buyer.