More people are starting their homeownership journey online

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people buy and sell homes. Meetings with agents were held via video chat – screenings did the same – while some adopted digital closures to limit the spread of the virus.

But as the pandemic begins to wane, new research from RE / MAX SARL, shows that some of the new trends seen in the market over the past 18 months are here to stay.

According to research, virtual tools allow people to plan and manage their next move before they even set foot in a property by using video tours, browsing detailed property descriptions and even taking virtual walks around the neighborhood. using Google Street View.

About 94% of buyers now use online platforms to search for a home, either before speaking to an agent, or to browse agent listings and recommendations.

Millennials have adopted the digital crossover in greater numbers than other generations. While 64% of millennials communicate with their real estate agent digitally, only 44% of Gen Xers and 25% of Baby Boomers have made the same change.

There is also more confidence in the adoption of the digital process than in the past. According to the National Association of Realtors, in the United States, 70% of buyers and 67% of sellers felt comfortable conducting real estate business on a computer, including reviewing and signing documents electronically. .

Buying a home is normally the biggest purchase one can make, and the personalized support offered by agents remains fundamental at key points in the trip (pricing, negotiations and closing) when people normally need help. be reassured to make the right choices.

While buyers and sellers can essentially do the entire buying / selling process online in some cases, 21% said they still enjoy real interactions with a real estate agent because, although technology is streamlining the process. process, agents bring additional and essential expertise so that the client can make more informed decisions.

Additionally, 61% of respondents indicated that trust and familiarity are of great importance when choosing an agent. 60% cited the need to contact them easily while 59% said the agent’s online reviews influenced their decision.

When it comes to preferences for getting in touch with real estate agents, 71% of survey respondents said they would prefer a phone call, followed by a text and email at 62% and 61% respectively .

“The main takeaway from this survey is that qualified and experienced real estate agents are the key for consumers to achieve their real estate goals,” said the president of RE / MAX. Nick bailey. “Last year, consumers had ample time to compile their list of what they want in their next home, and top-performing agents will be skilled in helping buyers find a home that ticks all the boxes or Whether it’s helping sellers strategically price their home or helping buyers win a competitive bidding war, agents with skills and cutting edge technology, provide invaluable service. And consumers clearly recognize and want this expertise in their corner. “

The research for this study was conducted by Canvas8, an international market analysis company, for RE / MAX and consisted of one-on-one interviews with experts, third-party desk research, trend analysis, agent and consumer perspectives, and a survey of 5,000 people in the United States and Canada who have been involved in the housing market in the past 12 months or will be in the market in the next 24 months. A full copy of the report is available here.


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