Online listings work and Americans are just plain addicted to them.
Okay, it’s not that bad, but according to a new survey by Discover Home Loans, fully 78% of homebuyers have spent time at work looking at online listings.
“In fact, two-thirds of buyers say browsing properties online has even reached the point of becoming addictive,” the report says.
But it’s not all bad news. Three-quarters of homebuyers feel technology made them smarter and 69% said it made them more confident in the home search process.
TJ Freeborn, senior manager of customer experience at Discover Home Loans, says this data clearly emphasizes how buyers are looking to play a larger role in the process.
Additional key findings from the survey include:
- 89% of homebuyers use some form of technology to help them with the homebuying process
- 47% of all homebuyers report using technology helped them save money
- 92% of homebuyers say technology helped them save time
- 83% of homebuyers feel technology helped them stay organized
- 93% percent of technology users say technology allowed them to do things remotely they otherwise would have had to do in person
The top three ways people use online resources in the homebuying process are:
- Eighty-three percent look at real estate listings.
- Seventy-two percent use online maps to explore neighborhoods.
- Seventy-one percent use email, apps or websites to submit documents to lenders.
- Among those who looked at online listings, 78% say they spent time at work looking at properties.
- Nearly all, 93%, of technology users say technology allowed them to do things remotely they otherwise would have had to do in person.
“Buyers are clearly looking to play a larger role in the homebuying process and turning to the latest technologies to find the information they need,” Freedborn said. “Technology is a great resource for buyers because it gives them access to online property listings, allows them to preview homes and find reviews on real estate agents and mortgage lenders. It’s truly changing the homebuying process, and the result is a more confident, informed buyer.”
The real estate agent’s role is still critical, as 83% of respondents reported working with real estate agents to buy their homes.
Seventy-four percent of homebuyers feel it’s important for their real estate agents to be tech savvy, with most, 82%, saying their agent was tech savvy.
In communicating with agents though, nearly all, 98%, communicate through phone calls.
Of buyers working with agents, 42% feel that they did most of the work to initially find properties.