Thursday, September 17, 2009

Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker get top marks in J.D. Power homebuyer survey

Two residential sales firms with broad operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area ranked tops in a new comparison.

Keller Williams rated highest in homebuyer survey released Thursday by consumer research firm J.D. Power and Associates.

Coldwell Banker placed second in buyer satisfaction but was highest rated by home sellers quizzed for the annual report.

The study rates national brand residential sales firms based on overall satisfaction with the agent, the office and additional services.

Re/Max and Century 21 also performed above average, according to buyers.

J.D. Power said that both buyers and sellers indicated that while the performance of the agent is the most important factor in their overall satisfaction, the importance of additional marketing services has grown in the last year.

The study also found that the number of first-time buyers in the housing market grew this year to 56 percent from 44 percent in 2008.

“The presence of more first-time buyers is encouraging, as it indicates that the real estate market is returning to more normal activity, with fewer speculators," Jim Howland, senior director of the real estate and construction practice at J.D. Power and Associates, said in the report. "However, real estate companies and agents must carefully manage first-time buyer expectations.”

J.D. Power also found that agents are holding fewer open houses to sell properties, but the number of sellers using the Internet to market their properties is at a record 64 percent.

The Power survey did not rank local and regional residential sales firms, which dominate the business in some markets.

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News