HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey for Q3 2019



Real estate agents in some pockets of the country are seeing a shift toward a more balanced housing market, but falling interest rates continue to boost homebuyer demand for limited inventory headed into fall, according to findings from HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey for Q3 2019.

Home Light Real Estate

The quarterly survey polled over 400 top-performing U.S. real estate agents between Aug. 12 and Aug. 26, 2019, to gain the collective expertise of the industry’s leading professionals. Agents were selected to participate in the survey based on the same performance data HomeLight uses to identify top real estate agents for hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers nationwide.

Released on the first official week of autumn, the survey report also offers tips for selling your home as the housing market approaches the start of the “offseason,” a time when buyer activity slows but sellers can take advantage of reduced listing competition with the right strategy.

“We’re thrilled to have so many top agents from HomeLight’s network continue to participate in our quarterly surveys,” said HomeLight COO Sumant Sridharan. “We truly strive to help individuals have the best experience possible when it comes to buying and selling their home, and we couldn’t do it without the expertise and insight from these incredibly knowledgeable agents across the country.”

55 percent of top agents describe their local market conditions as a “seller’s market” (down from 63 percent in Q2) and 47 percent of respondents indicate that inventory is lower than anticipated. In addition, 70 percent of agents say the falling interest rates have spurred buyer activity in their area, a 14 percent increase over those polled in the second quarter.

While only 8 percent of agents believe they’re in a “buyer’s market” (in line with Q2), nearly 30 percent characterized their market as balanced in Q3, a 7 percentage point uptick over Q2.

Home price gains continue to slow. Nearly 75 percent of agents predict that home values will either stay level or decline throughout the next six months, compared to 61 percent of respondents who said so last quarter. Further, sellers should make a cautious effort to avoid overpricing, considering 58 percent of agents believe bidding wars in their market are on the decline.

“Most homeowners are under the impression that spring is the best time to sell your house, but top agents reiterate that buyers are still motivated right now due to historically low interest rates,” said Sridharan. “With low inventory, sellers have less competition, and if they price their home right, they could really benefit from listing this fall.”

Other key findings from the survey shed light on home maintenance projects ideal for the fall season (such as roof work); kitchen appliance trends as manufacturers gear up to release new models and discount their old ones; and house showing advice for homeowners preparing to sell this fall:

  • Don’t discount a fall home sale. Nearly 50 percent of agents say that homes typically sell in the fall for the same amount as they would in the spring or summer.
  • Holding off to sell next spring? Then now is a great time to take on projects around the house. 91 percent of agents believe builders and contractors are busiest in spring and summer. Most agents suggest that homeowners make repairs between October and December when building materials and labor for home renovations are most affordable.
  • 75 percent of respondents say traditional stainless steel is the most in-demand appliance finish among buyers today and can add $1,700+ to the value of your home at resale. Those top agents also say buyers will be 50 percent more likely to put an offer on a house with stainless steel kitchen appliances than a house without them.
  • The most important fall curb appeal tactics are removing leaves and cleaning gutters, as recommended by 84 percent and 82 percent of top agents, respectively.
  • The no. 1 fall house showing tip that top agents recommend (73 percent of respondents) is to keep showing hours flexible as work and school ramp up.

For additional findings, download the Top Agent Insights Report featuring a summary of the results.

About HomeLight
HomeLight is the only objective, end-to-end platform that empowers people to achieve the best outcome when buying or selling real estate. The company’s proprietary algorithm crunches hard-to-find home sales data and reviews to determine the best agent or cash buyer to help sellers net the highest return on the sale of their home. To help homebuyers find a local agent, HomeLight analyzes stats on 40+ million transactions using proprietary machine learning algorithms that search through over 1.2M real estate agent profiles. HomeLight is a startup revolutionizing the $1 trillion real estate industry. The company has offices in San Francisco, Scottsdale, Brooklyn and Seattle.