Real Estate

Redfin: Number of sight-unseen home offers retreat

One in five recent homebuyers made an offer without stepping foot on property

As inventory increases and home price growth slows down, homebuyer competition has begun to ease, according to the latest data from Redfin.

According to the company, 20% of recent homebuyers said they made an offer sight-unseen. This means that one in five homebuyers made an offer on a home without even stepping foot on the property.

This data was gathered from a survey Redfin conducted back in May, consisting of 1,463 homebuyers across 14 major markets, who had purchased a home within the last year.

Redfin notes this number was down 35% from a similar survey it conducted in November, when the share of sight-unseen offers had been growing consistently for at least a year and a half.

“Now that most homes are staying on the market for longer than a week, there just isn’t as much pressure for buyers to make offers so hastily,” Redfin Agent Jessie Culbert said. “That’s a big change from earlier this year when sellers set offer review deadlines, and they were strict! This meant that whether or not you had time to physically step inside the home, you had to get your offer in on time in order to be considered. Otherwise you would miss out entirely on the opportunity to compete for it.”

Redfin notes that for many prospective homebuyers, this strategy proved to be advantageous last year. However, the housing market has shifted towards a buyers’ market, which is attributed to rising inventory and slow price growth.

“In July, we first reported that the market was beginning to shift toward buyers’ favor, with rising inventory and slowing price growth. Buyers had become more choosy about what homes to move on and were behaving less hasty in making offers. And now, buyers are facing fewer multiple-offer situations, which allows buyers even more time to visit homes in person before making an offer,” Redfin’s analysis stated.

According to Redfin, this trend indicates a change in the market, which they plan to watch closely for the remainder of the year.

NOTE:  This survey was conducted between May 1 and 18, 2018, utilizing SurveyGizmo. Redfin surveyed 4,264 people who indicated they had bought or sold a home in the past year, tried to buy or sell a home in the past year, or plan to do so this year. 

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