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Answering all those burning questions you didn’t know you had about home ownership.

Seller Extravaganza 2021

Picture of Jessica Dabkowski

Jessica Dabkowski

Helping you with all things homeownership!

In last week’s article, we talked about buyers in 2021 vs. those in 1981. This week we’re diving into the data on sellers. There are some impressive statistics in this week’s article, but nothing as insane as the jaw dropper in last week’s article.

Same as last week, unless specifically linked to a different source, all the statistics used for this article were provided by NAR and can be accessed in full HERE.

Join me as we journey into Seller Extravaganza 2021. Think of it as a fancy event or something.

Pause for a Math Lesson

Let’s have a brief math lesson reminder. Usually when we’re looking at surveys or statistics, we think of averages. In this article, you’ll also see a lot of references to “median.”

The median is literally the middle number of a run of numbers. For example, the sequence 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 has a median of 6 because that number is in the center of the run. Half the numbers are above the median and half the numbers are below it. Medians are useful because sometimes they give a better sense of where the center of the data lies. (I just made The Mathematician read this paragraph for accuracy. And yes, he made me edit it.)

Typical Home Seller

The typical home seller was 56 years old and had a median household income of $112,300. I went back and looked at 2020’s NAR report and the average age last year was also 56 and median household income was $107,100.

What’s Lighting that Fire?

The number one reason (18%) people gave for moving was the desire to be closer to friends and family, up from 15% in 2020. This reason makes total sense to me in light of our post-pandemic life. Many, many more people are working from home. Where commute used to be a big factor for many people, it is now a non-issue.

On the flip side, the pandemic made many people realize how truly isolated they are if schools, daycares, etc. are not functioning. People, especially parents, are moving closer to family who can help with childcare. Adult children, on the other hand, may have realized that aging parents need more care and assistance navigating life in this post-pandemic world.

The secondary reason given was that their current home was too small. This reason came in just behind friends and family at 17%. I am no historian, but I’m pretty sure this was always one of the top reasons to move.

But, hello, pandemic. I was never more grateful for a house with more than one full bathroom than I was in March 2020. When people are trying to live, work, go to school, cook every meal and play in one abode, that’s a serious recipe for needing more space.

In that vein, 46% of sellers moved into a larger home and 28% purchased the same home size. Again, space was key.

1 Week for 100%

Recently sold homes were on the market for a median one week. ONE WEEK. Now, updated, move-in ready homes that are priced correctly will sell pretty quickly in almost any market. In this market, even homes that need a little TLC are flying off the shelf.

I went and bopped around in my MLS Stats tab to check out some of the areas around me. Homes in our area were on the market longer than a week, but not much.

For the same time period, Plymouth Township’s median days on market was 10, a little above the NAR national median. Canton’s median days on the market was 9, and Livonia was spot on the national average with 7 days. Northville Township and City of Plymouth gave a little more breathing room at 18 days and 17 days, respectively.

The final sale price was a median of 100% of the final listing price. NAR cites this as the highest since 2002. This means the median seller was receiving 100% of what they selected as the listing price.

I spot checked this stat for our area too and Plymouth Township, Canton, Livonia and City of Plymouth all came in at a 100%. Northville Township came in at 99.9%. Bonkers.

Equity Bonanza

And then NAR upped the ante and dropped this bombshell. Home sellers reported that they sold their homes for a median equity gain of $85,000. That means they sold the home for $85k more than they bought it for.

That’s a lot of cake. But it gets crazier, that number is an increase of $19,000 over LAST YEAR. In 2020’s report, sellers reported a median equity gain of $66,000.

Do you see why I named this article Seller Extravaganza 2021?

NAR goes on to cite that 92% of sellers were at least “somewhat satisfied” with the selling process. I mean, selling your house in a week, at 100% of your list price to walk away with $85,000 in equity? Who are these people who are not satisfied??


Let’s discuss FSBO (For-Sale-by-Owner) sales for a minute. Only 7 percent of recent homes sales were for sale by owner, which NAR calls out as a historical low in the entire 40 year history of their report. Even though you feel like you see those signs everywhere, they don’t make up a huge chunk of the sales.

The majority of FSBO sellers, 57%, sold to a buyer they knew. They may have sold to a friend or family member, but they didn’t sell to a stranger.

Some real estate agents chase FSBOs trying to explain why it’s better to have an agent. These agents proffer a cost vs. value proposition: if you list with me, you will sell your home for enough money to offset the agent commission.

There’s some proof in the numbers. FSBO homes sold at a median of $260,000 last year vs. the $318,000 median of agent-assisted home sales. NAR does call out that FSBOs typically sell for less.

Whether this is a result of not having an agent or the psychological profile of someone who thinks they can get the most money for their home without an agent, I’m not sure. I do know that as buyer agents, we don’t have an innate love of FSBOs because we absorb a lot of the work the listing agent would do and sellers often don’t want to pay a buyer’s agent even though we work our rear ends off on the deal.

Since 87% of home buyers are using an agent, it seems as though it would be difficult to maximize your home’s sale value if you’re not playing ball with the agents.

Conclusion of Seller Extravaganza 2021

I hope you found this series as fascinating as I have. My past life of crunching the data on how many employees haven’t submitted their performance review really came in handy. Special shout out to The Mathematician for supervising the math portion of our show.

As always, I’m here to help you with all your home ownership questions, concerns, goals and dreams. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t buying or selling anytime soon. I want to help, so reach out!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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