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Buyers that search for a home online are more likely to use an agent

Many people think web shoppers are less likely to hire a Realtor, but it turns out that the opposite is true.

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Buyers using the web have higher incomes

The 2011 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers surveyed 5,708 home buyers and sellers and found that home buyers that use the web in their home search differ in other behaviors and demographics than buyers who do not use the web and the findings may surprise you.

It is no surprise that the typical buyer who used the internet is younger, averaging at 42 years old with non-web searchers averaging 60 years of age. What is surprising however, is that buyers that used the web are actually more affluent, despite the assumption that an older buyer is more affluent – the typical buyer who used the Internet in their home search has a median household income of $83,700 compared to those who did not use the web whose median household income is $60,300.

Buyers who used the web to search for a home searched double the length of time than those who did not incorporate the web in their search. Buyers who did not use the web used fewer sources in their search, as buyers who did use the web to search for a home used various sources with higher frequency with 56 percent also using yard signs (compared to 46 percent of buyers who didn’t use the web), while 46 percent of web searchers used open houses as an additional source (compared to only 34 percent of buyers who didn’t use the web).

Buyers that search the web are more likely to go to open houses and call on yard signs, contrary to the popular belief that web searchers stick to the web – the research shows that typically, buyers that search via the web have an inherent interest in researching deeply.

Bottom line: web users are more valuable

The icing on the cake is that 90 percent of buyers who used the web to search for homes use a real estate agent as opposed to the 70 percent of buyers who didn’t use the web. The standard belief is that tech savvy shoppers are often anti-agent because of various startups that have launched over the years to supplant Realtors, but it hasn’t worked, in fact, the opposite has occurred.

The bottom line is that web users are extremely valuable – they earn more money, are more likely to look at your offline marketing, are more likely to go to an open house and above all, they are much more likely to actually hire an agent.

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114 Comments

114 Comments

  1. fredromano

    November 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Great article and this is exactly the reason why our flat fee listing services are valuable to sellers. We understand that the majority of buyers "are" using agents to help with their purchase, so getting your home on the MLS is the key to exposing it to the most important group of buyers.

  2. teardowns.com

    November 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    It's a process. Today, not many know how the business of real estate works. These numbers may change when these buyers realize that they are paying half of the commission involved in the transaction by using a buyer's agent.

    That's big money. Rep your self, then pay your lawyer about $500 to review the doc's – that's (on average) a savings of $9,500 (5% commission divided by 2 (half to the buyer's agent) less the $500 to the lawyer.

    This may not apply to every state or transaction – but we think that as this becomes more transparent – these stats will change. No small change ($).

    • teardowns.com

      November 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

      Opps – assuming a $400,000 purchase.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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