An overwhelming majority (87%) of recent home buyers in the US say they used the internet as an information resource during their home-buying process, and nearly one-third say they first learned about their newly purchased home from an online channel, according to a study from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Though the internet was the most popular source, buyers also cited information from real-estate agents (85%), yard signs (62%), open houses (48%) and print or newspaper ads (47%). Fewer buyers relied on home books or magazines, home builders, television, billboards and relocation companies, the study said.
When asked where they first learned about the home they purchased, 34% of buyers said a real-estate agent; 32% cited the internet; 15% said from yard signs; 7% said from a friend, neighbor or relative; 7% said home builders; 3% said from a print or newspaper ad; 2% learned directly from the seller; and 1% from a home book or magazine.
The NAR also found that 87% of home buyers used the internet to search for a home purchased through a real estate agent, in contrast with 72% of non-internet users who were more likely to purchase in a private transaction directly from a builder or from an owner they already knew.
Local metropolitan multiple-listing-service websites are the most popular internet information resources, consulted by 60% of buyers, followed by Realtor.com (48%), real-estate company sites (46%); real-estate agent websites (%); for-sale-by-owner sites (19%); and local newspaper sites (11%).
Other survey findings are detailed below.
First Time Home-Buyers Up Slightly
Downpayments on the Rise
Buyers and Sellers Use Agents
Foreclosure Purchases Higher
Features and Incentives Up
Additional Demographic Information
About the study: The 2008 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is the latest in a series of large national NAR surveys evaluating demographics, marketing, preferences and experiences of home buyers and sellers. NAR mailed an eight-page questionnaire in August 2008 to a national sample of 133,000 home buyers and sellers who purchased their homes between July 2007 and June 2008, according to county records. There were 10,053 usable responses and the adjusted response rate was 7.9%. All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2008 with the exception of income data, which are for 2007. Because of rounding and omissions for space, percentage distributions for some findings may not add up to 100 percent.
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