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October 31, 2014

Home Buyers Need You More, Despite Internet Growth

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Home Buyers Need You More, Despite Internet Growth

Internet growth in home buying is growing, but buyers who use the Internet are more likely to say they need a real estate agent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey

In fact, the highest share of buyers in the survey’s history -- 92 percent -- reported using the Internet to search for a home to buy. Forty-two percent of buyers reported starting their home search by looking for properties online, while 17 percent said their first step was to contact a real estate agent. 

The Internet is helping buyers to find the home they ultimately purchase too. Forty-three percent of buyers said they found the home they purchased online, up from 8 percent in 2001. 

Despite home buyers increasingly relying on the Internet for their home search, the overwhelming majority turns to a real estate agent for extra help. 

Eighty-eight percent of buyers said they purchased their home through a real estate agent. Among those who used the Internet to search for homes, that share grew higher -- up to 90 percent, according to the NAR survey. 

“While the vast majority of buyers use the Internet during the homebuying process, the Internet does not replace the real estate agent in the transaction,” according to the report. “In fact, buyers who used the Internet were more likely than those who did not use the Internet to purchase their home through an agent.” 

Buyers ranked the following services highest that agents’ can provide them in their search: finding the right property, helping to negotiating terms of the sale and price negotiations, identifying comparable properties, and assisting with paperwork. 

Source: “Homebuyers More Likely to Use Real Estate Agents, Even as Internet Usage Hits an All-Time High,” Inman News (Nov. 4, 2013) 

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