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A Closer Look: Florida’s Buyers and Sellers/Users/adamp/Desktop/May Mag Images/BizLine

Did you know that 38 percent of homebuyers use some form of social networking Web site, such as MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn? Knowing this can help you reach those buyers, says Sharon Simms, broker-associate with RE/MAX Metro in St. Petersburg, who has been active on Active Rain (a blog that began as a networking site for real estate professionals and is now open to consumers) for almost two years. “[Social networking] helps buyers and other real estate professionals who may be referring their clients to you. I do blogs that target other people in the industry as well as blogs that talk about what’s going on in the local area. Google is great at picking those up, so I’ve had business come from other members of Active Rain and also from prospects who saw me on various [sites]. The key is to be consistently blogging so that you can present what you know in a neutral setting so that other agents and buyers and sellers can develop trust. There’s no benefit to joining and just having your name there.”

The Florida version of the National Association of Realtors®’ “2007 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers” provides a tool to help real estate professionals in the Sunshine State track the changing demands of consumers in a dynamic market. Here’s a summary of the report’s findings:

2007 Seller Characteristics

• The median age of Florida home sellers was 48, and their median income was $83,900.

• Sixty-nine percent of home sellers were married, and 61 percent had no children under age 18 living at home.

• Fifty-one percent of home sellers were trading up to a larger home.

• Typical home sellers had owned their home for six years.

• Fifty-three percent of recent home sellers reported that they had undertaken home improvement or remodeling projects within three months of putting their home on the market.

• The typical home was on the market for 10 weeks; 33 percent of home sellers did not reduce their asking price before their home sold.

• Recent sellers typically sold their home for 96 percent of the listing price.

• Seventy-nine percent of sellers used a sales associate or broker to sell their home.

• Sixty-seven percent of all sellers were very satisfied with the selling process.

2007 Homebuyer Characteristics
• The median age of Florida homebuyers was 43. Among first-time buyers, the median age was 32.

• The 2006 median household income of homebuyers was $67,500 compared to $74,000 among homebuyers nationally.

• Sixty-four percent of homebuyers reported that no children under age 18 were living in the home.

• Fifty-nine percent of homebuyers were married couples, 21 percent single females, 12 percent single males and 6 percent unmarried couples.

• Eighteen percent of Florida homebuyers reported that they had been born outside the United States, compared to 9 percent nationally.

• First-time buyers accounted for 38 percent of homes bought in 2007.

• Forty-nine percent of first-time home-buyers were between ages 25 and 34.

• The median income of first-time homebuyers was $58,400 compared to $58,600 among all first-time homebuyers nationally.

• Sixty-five percent of homebuyers between ages 18 and 24 purchased a home because of their desire to own a home of their own and establish a household.

• Thirty-eight percent of homebuyers reported using social networking Web sites, such as, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendster, to shop for a home. Among homebuyers aged 18 to 24, 76 percent reported using social networking sites for this purpose.

You can download a PDF of the 2007 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, Florida Report, via FAR’s Web site ( From the home page, click on “Legislative Center” and then scroll down and click on “Research.” The report is listed under “Florida survey reports.”