A survey commissioned by online brokerage Redfin of 2,134 Americans finds one in five buyers made an offer on a home without having visited it in person.
In fact, some 17% of buyers bought a home without an agent’s help, a significantly higher portion than is cited in the most widely accepted report on this figure.
And more than one-third of buyers who worked with a traditional agent received a refund or other form of commission savings from their agent.
“There are large inefficiencies in the real estate brokerage industry, and the results of this study show that consumers are aware of them,” said Panle Jia Barwick, associate economics professor at Cornell University. “By creating different agent compensation structures and by offering more information about agents’ track records, companies like Redfin are making strides in making real estate more efficient and thereby saving consumers money.”
21% of buyers said they made an offer on a home without ever seeing it in person. Certain demographics were more likely to make an offer on a home without viewing the property including:
- 53% of people who bought homes for more than $750,000
- 30% of millennials
- 30% of single, never married people
Also, 17% of people who bought a home in the past two years did so without an agent. That’s substantially higher than the most widely cited number reflecting this group’s prevalence, which reports that just 12% of buyers in 2014 purchased without an agent. Among people who bought without an agent, 37% said they didn’t need one because they knew the seller personally.
Some 13% of people who sold a home in the past two years did so without the help of an agent. This is in line with the most widely accepted report on this figure, which cites that 12% of sellers in 2014 sold without an agent. The most common reason for selling on one’s own was to save money (61%).
Fully 37% of people who bought homes with non-Redfin agents said their agent saved them more than $500 via a refund or other type of contribution.
And 71% percent of people who bought or sold a home with Redfin would recommend their agent to a friend or colleague, compared with 49% of people who bought or sold a home with agents at other brokerages.
For the full results, click here.