More than nine in 10 homebuyers employed the Internet at some point in their search process, and a near equal amount counted on the expertise of a skilled real estate professional to seal the deal.
That’s according to the National Association of Realtors’ Real Estate in a Digital Age report, which found that 93 percent of buyers of all ages used a website as an information source when shopping for a home. Not surprisingly, virtually all millennials surveyed — 99 percent — took to the Internet for real estate research, though 90 percent of older baby boomers also searched for homes online.
The poll highlights the increasing importance of mobile devices as a home-search tool. More than three-quarters of homebuyers used a smart phone or a tablet to locate their home, with millennials again the most likely age group to employ that technology.
Whether they found their home on a desktop computer, a laptop, or a mobile device, photos of the property are the most useful online asset to shoppers, cited by 87 percent of respondents. A near equal amount pointed to detailed information about the property, while about half said that floor plans and virtual tours helped them make a homebuying decision.
Despite technology’s importance to today’s homebuyers, real estate professionals are equally as crucial to the process, with 87 percent of all buyers enlisting their help. Even more millennials — 90 percent — used a real estate professional when buying a home, as that generation reported needing the most help understanding the process and navigating the paperwork.
“Consumers have the ability to do more homebuying research online than ever before,” NAR President John Smaby said in a statement. “Still, REALTORS® present tremendous value to buyers from every generation and every background.”