Homebuyers today are relying heavily on both technological resources and their Realtors® as they navigate the process of home shopping and closing, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ Real Estate in a Digital Age report.
According to the report, finding the right home ranked as the most difficult step in purchasing a home, and 44 percent of buyers in 2018 started their home search by looking at properties online. This was the same level as in 2017. Rates of utilizing the internet varied by age: 99 percent of millennials used the internet to search homes, as did 90 percent of older boomers, while older boomers used mobile devices at only 21 percent compared to 58 percent of boomers.
Even with the boost of technology, however, 87 percent of overall homebuyers utilized a real estate agent. Millennials were even higher at 90 percent
“Consumers have the ability to do more home buying research online than ever before. Still, Realtors® present tremendous value to buyers from every generation and every background,” said John Smaby, broker at Edina Realty in Minnesota. “While consumers have more technological tools at their fingertips, Realtors® continue to be a large part of the home buying and selling equation.”
Generational differences also were noted in the way homebuyers narrowed their searches. Millennials preferred viewing website listing features, photos, and online property information, whereas baby boomers preferred virtual tours and direct contact with a real estate agent.
Millennials, members of generation X, and the silent generations typically spent eight weeks searching for a home, while younger boomers and older boomers typically spent 10 weeks looking for a home.