This is a continuation of an entry from early last week about who today’s home buyers are and what they are saying about the purchase process, working with agents, and other elements related to buying a place (click here to read previous entry). The information comes from a study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) of American home buyers in 2008.
Check out last Monday’s blog for stats on the average home buyer, why they want to purchase real estate, the most common type of mortgage used, and the most valued benefit a professional agent brings to the table. What wasn’t discussed last week is how buyers begin the home search, what they find the most useful when looking for listings, and how neighborhood elements affects their purchase decision.
Where do buyers go when first looking for properties? Most head straight to their computers to house hunt online. With the Internet becoming such a powerful and convenient information gathering source this data is not surprising and has been the growing trend among home buyers in recent years. To accommodate the increasing online interest of buyers, real estate companies have created websites that offer full access to market listings and other useful home search tools.
What do buyers say is the most valuable feature provided by real estate sites? Over 85% said photographs. Buyers like to see what a place looks like when searching online. They also agree there is significant value in getting general details about homes for sale; and virtual tours are also highly ranked.
According to the NAR study, 62% of buyers categorized neighborhood “quality” as the #1 factor in finding the right location. Respondents said maintenance and desirability of a neighborhood greatly impacts where they choose to buy a home. Neighborhood selection is also based on affordability and convenience to work.