The real estate downturn has sent home prices tumbling, inflated housing inventories, and prompted stimulus programs that have pushed mortgage rates to record lows and given homebuyers tax breaks and cash incentives for their purchases.[IMAGE]
Undoubtedly, it's a buyers' market. A new study released by ""J.D. Power and Associates"":http://www.jdpower.com Wednesday confirms that with today's bargain-basement market conditions, homebuyers are giving their real estate experiences a thumbs-up. Sellers, on the other hand, aren't nearly as pleased once the deal is done.
Satisfaction with national real estate companies among homebuyers has improved over the past year. Overall satisfaction among homebuyers is now averaging 803 on J.D. Power's 1,000-point scale - an increase of 12 points from the 2009 reading. The company says this improvement is primarily driven by increased satisfaction with agents and salespersons.
In contrast, overall satisfaction among home sellers has declined by 40 points from 2009 and averages 742 in[COLUMN_BREAK]
2010. Among home sellers, the largest drop-off in satisfaction was observed in marketing of the home and the scope of additional services offered by agents.
""Among both homebuyers and home sellers, the importance of agents and salespersons has increased substantially in 2010, compared with 2009,"" said Jim Howland, senior director of the real estate and construction practice at J.D. Power and Associates. ""Buyers are increasingly relying upon negotiating skills of agents and seem to be satisfied with the purchase prices they are obtaining.""
Howland continued, ""Despite the fact that selling agents appear to be doing a good job of negotiating and marketing on behalf of home sellers, the tough economic conditions are negatively impacting their overall satisfaction with real estate companies.""
In the homebuyer segment, ""Keller Williams"":http://www.kw.com ranks highest in satisfaction for the third consecutive year, with a score of 817 on the 1,000-point scale. Following in the rankings are ""Prudential"":http://www.prudential.com/view/page/public/11112 (811) and ""Coldwell Banker"":http://www.coldwellbanker.com (805).
Among home sellers, Prudential ranks highest with a score of 760. Prudential is the only company to improve in home-seller satisfaction in 2010, compared with 2009. Following Prudential in the rankings are Keller Williams (751) and ""RE/MAX"":http://www.remax.com (744).
J.D. Power's study, now in its third year, measures customer satisfaction of home buyers and sellers with the largest national real estate firms.
Overall satisfaction is determined by examining three factors for the homebuying experience: agent/salesperson; office; and additional services. Four factors are examined for the home-selling experience: agent/salesperson; marketing; office; and additional services.