Yes, the internet tops the list, but it’s not the only place that today’s home buyers find homes they ultimately decide to purchase.
If you haven’t checked out the National Association of Realtors® website (NAR) for real estate statistics and research, you’re missing out. Their Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Stats lists important data about home buyers and sellers, including a list of seven places where home buyers find homes they want to purchase.
2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Lists 7 Places Buyers Find Homes
1. THE INTERNET – 51%
When it comes to finding their dream home, a majority of home buyers say they found the house they purchased on the internet. This could include any number of websites where buyers can search for homes based on any number of criteria (number of bedrooms, baths, square footage, zip code, lot size, home style, age, and so on) or results displayed in buyer’s online searches on Google, Bing and other search engines.
For real estate professionals working with sellers, the challenge is this: How do you get your listings to the top of search results and make them stand out from all the rest? The market may be hot right now but it’s not hot everywhere or for every type of home. Understanding how listing services work and learning how to optimize copy so that it’s more likely to get found in online search can help, as can having exceptional real estate photography and video to include with your listings.
2. REAL ESTATE AGENT – 34%
Many home buyers turn to knowledgeable real estate professionals to help guide their search, help them discover properties for sale that might not be findable in listing directories or by online search, and to help them as they navigate the process and negotiate to get the best deal. According to NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, here’s how buyers found/chose their real estate agent:
- 42% – Referred by or realtor is a friend, neighbor or relative
- 12% – Worked with the agent previously
- 9% – Internet website
- 6% – Met agent while visiting an open house
- 6% – Saw realtor contact info on a for sale / open house sign
- 4% – Referred by another broker
- 4% – Referred through employer or relocation company
- 3% – Personal contact (phone, email, etc.)
- 3% – Walked into or called office and agent was on duty
- 1% – Search engine
- 1% – Newspaper, yellow pages or home book ad
- <1% – Mobile or tablet application, direct mail, ad item (calendar, magnet, etc.)
3. YARD SIGN OR OPEN HOUSE SIGN – 8%
Though the internet has made it possible for home buyers to explore neighborhoods and homes for sale virtually, some home buyers still find homes by physically driving through the cities and neighborhoods where they most want to live or spotting for sale signs while there for other purposes.
4. FRIEND, RELATIVE OR NEIGHBOR – 4%
Many buyers want to live near their friends and loved ones (and vice versa). Referrals from friends, relatives and neighbors can be especially helpful for home buyers who have a specific neighborhood or street in mind.
5. HOME BUILDER OR BUILDER’S AGENT – 2%
For the home buyer who wants to find their dream home among new construction homes only, the home builder or builder’s agent can play a crucial role. These agents are often extremely knowledgeable about the new construction homes of not only their builder but other regional home builders and can help to steer buyers to the home builder or new home community that best matches their ideal.
6. DIRECT FROM SELLER AND/OR KNEW SELLERS – 1%
Only 1 percent of home buyers knew the sellers or worked directly with sellers on a home buying transaction. This reinforces the idea that the role of the real estate agent is crucial in helping to connect buyers and sellers, even those who attribute the internet as the place they found the house they purchased (because they were responsible for web copy, photographs, etc.)
7. PRINT AD IN THE NEWSPAPER – 1%
Only 1 percent of home buyers find homes they want to buy in a newspaper print ad. Print ads are often very expensive; however, if you have a unique property to sell or one that may be very buyer-specific, you may still want to consider adding print ads as an additional way to reach potential buyers.
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