What are buyers and sellers with kids looking for in an agent?

by Rincey Abraham

There is no one-size-fits-all way to help people buy and sell homes. Depending on what stage of life they are in, the needs and preferences of the client will change entirely. Buying or selling a home can be a complicated process, and adding children into the mix just makes it more complicated.

Homebuyers who have children under the age of 18 in their home tend to want larger homes than those without children. According to the National Association of Realtors 2019 Moving with Kids report, buyers prefer a single-family detached home, whether or not they have kids. But the average buyer with children gets a 2,100-square-foot home with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The average buyer with no children opts for a 1,750-square-foot home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Unsurprisingly, half of buyers with children said that the quality of the school district is an important factor when choosing what home to live in, while 45 percent said that convenience to schools is important.

However, finding the right place is hard for all buyers, with 54 percent of buyers with and without children saying that finding the right property is the most difficult step in purchasing a home.

Child care costs lead to buyer compromises

With growing child care costs across the country, more than a quarter (27 percent) of families are delaying purchasing a home. Those expenses are also forcing them to compromise on the type of home that they are getting.

Almost a third of buyers with children compromised on the size of their home due to child care expenses (30 percent), while 29 percent compromised on the amount that they spent. Other compromises include the distance from their job, the condition of the home and the style of the home, 22 percent each, and 21 percent compromised on their lot size.

“Buying a house is rarely just a financial transaction, especially when children are involved,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “Parents are choosing the home they will raise their kids in, the schools their sons and daughters will attend and the neighborhood where they will play and make friends. Realtors help buyers navigate every emotional and financial factor to ensure families find their dream home.”

What sellers want from their agents

The vast majority of sellers, both with and without children, are turning to agents to help them with the homeselling process, but what they need from their agent is different.

Twenty-two percent of those with children want help to sell their home within a specific timeframe. In fact, 26 percent of sellers with children said their need to sell was “very urgent,” while only 14 percent of sellers without children needed to sell their home as quickly as possible. More than half of sellers without children had no urgency in selling their home, but 43 percent of sellers without children said they wanted to sell their home somewhat urgently.

Other top things sellers with kids are looking for are agents to help them market their home to potential buyers and find ways to fix up their home to sell it for more (19 percent each).

The most important way sellers without children are looking for is help to market their home to potential buyers (22 percent), 20 percent are looking to sell within a specific timeframe and 18 percent are looking for help to price a home competitively.

However, all sellers expect their agents to provide a broad range of services and manage most aspects of their home sale.

For sellers with children, nearly a quarter (24 percent) were selling their home because it was too small. However, only 8 percent of sellers without kids were selling for that reason. The other most important reasons families with children were selling was because of a job relocation (18 percent) and a change in family situation (12 percent).

On the other hand, sellers without kids said they were selling because they wanted to move closer to family or friends (18 percent) and because they thought their current home was too large (13 percent).