Determining where a buyer found the home they purchased has always been a hot topic. The reality may surprise you. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the statistics are as follows:
- Internet – 44% (up from 8% in 2001)
- Real estate agent – 33% (down from 48% in 2001))
- For Sale or Open House sign – 9% (down from 15% in 2001)
- Friend or relative – 6% (down from 8% in 2001)
- Direct relationship with the seller – 2% (down from 4% in 2001)
- Print newspaper – 1% (down from 7% in 2001)
- Magazine – less than 1% (down from 2% in 2001)
The data above indicates a growing trend that more and more buyers are going FIRST to their computer to identify potential homes they like.
In our ultra-high-net-worth market, the client usually calls their broker to communicate the type of home, location, and amenities they are looking for. In turn, the knowledgeable broker, familiar with the local inventory, is able to provide listings and, if appropriate, arrange a private showing.
From a seller’s point of view, they almost always ask the broker “how are you going to promote my house?” The sellers invariably want newspaper ads, magazine ads, and flyers. However, the data above indicates that money spent here is a waste given that the vast majority of buyers find their homes on the Internet or through an agent. In our market, all real estate agents use both the MLS and our personal networks to find homes already listed, in addition to locating new listings not yet in the MLS.
The bottom line is that how buyers find homes has changed dramatically. That being said, having a highly qualified and connected broker continues to be an invaluable asset when finding and purchasing a home.
Co-Founder, Westside Estate Agency