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Homebuyer satisfaction drops in 2010, agents to blame

Homebuyer satisfaction survey shows individuals are not satisfied with real estate agents.

Homebuyer satisfaction survey shows individuals are not satisfied with real estate agents.

Americans throughout the United States are less satisfied with the overall homebuying experience this year than they were in 2010, according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates Home Buyer/Seller Study.

The 2011 study, which examined a buyer's relationship with a salesperson or agent, a real estate office and other homebuying services, found home buyer satisfaction scored a 797 out of 1,000, which is a six point drop from last year's score. Respondents were least satisfied with an agent or salesperson, as that score total fell to 814 from 828 in 2010. The negative feelings consumers had with salespeople may be one factor contributing to fewer families purchasing and moving to new homes.

Jim Howland, senior director of the real estate and construction practice and J.D. Power, said real estate agents may want to take these responses to heart.

 "Agents who properly manage client expectations around the home buying process and communicate with clients about potential challenges - such as higher requirements for down payments, tighter loan standards and additional costs on top of the monthly mortgage - may be better able to keep clients satisfied."

Even the most excited homebuyers, who may already bought their moving boxes and are looking up prospective rental truck companies, may be dissuaded from purchasing a new home if their agent-customer relationship stalls. As the market continues to improve, it may be in real estate agents' best interest to make sure they're doing all they can to cultivate a happy home-buying experience for their clients.