Friday, April 07, 2006

Record Number of Home Shoppers Are Doing it Digitally

A record number of consumers are using the Internet when shopping for a home or mortgage.

Back in 1995, only 2 percent of home buyers used the Internet. By 2004, that proportion had risen to 74 percent. The most recent survey shows that 77 percent of consumers use the Internet for finding homes or related information. This information was reported by the National Association of Realtors in their new "Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers" study and report.

When persons who had recently purchased a home were asked where they first learned about the home they bought, 24 percent indicated it was the Internet. That percentage is up from 15 percent in 2004 and only 2 percent in 1997, according to the NAR survey.

Many consumers check home listings in communities that interest them, then contact a local broker to arrange an inspection of one or more homes, and possibly handle the sales transaction. Others go to one of the "for sale by owner" Web sites, then contact the owners directly to seek more information and pursue a purchase.

It's interesting to note that non-Internet users are more apt to buy a home directly from the seller than Internet users.

Still others use the Internet to obtain up-to-date information on the real estate and mortgage market in preparation for purchasing and financing a home or selling their home. The Internet has become the consumer's primary resource for real estate and mortgage information.


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