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Jeremy Lehman's Blog

By Jeremy Lehman | Agent in Garden Grove, CA

How Do Buyers Find Their Home?

How do buyers find homes?

Have you ever wondered how do buyers find homes? Did you know that over 90% of home buyers start their home search on the internet before they contact a real estate agent? According to a study by the California Association of Realtors,  the average buyer in the state of California considers buying a home for 4 months and investigates homes and neighborhoods for 2.5 months BEFORE contacting an agent. However, over 80% of buyers use an agent to buy a home. In the past few years, an agent’s role has shifted. Realtors are not the gatekeeper’s of real estate information, rather the market experts that understand what the information means. Finding the home, although a fun and exciting experience, is a small part of a home purchase.

Who doesn’t do their own research these days before making big decisions? I would be surprised if it was any other way. The web is full of great information that empowers consumers to make better decisions and confirm information and advice given by professionals or salespersons. Don’t believe everything you hear, right?

Here’s the key statistic in the study…47% of buyers picked homes online for their agent to show them. Are home sellers and real estate agents missing an opportunity to advertise the sellers home to potential buyers?  Traditionally, when an agent takes a listing, they go about promoting the home the way agents normally do. They put the home in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS, a central database shared by agents through our local association of Realtors) and maybe hold open houses and do some print advertising. Our MLS automatically syndicates the listing out to some of the major listing websites such as Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com, and Yahoo! Real Estate. Also, the agent representing a buyer would choose the homes and then show those homes to the buyer. Now, with literally hundreds of websites with MLS listings available, buyers enjoy looking at homes online and find homes they would like to see. It happens to me all the time. I identify homes I think my buyers would like either through the MLS or from homes I’ve previewed, email them the info and pictures and some insight, and sure enough, they email me back the homes they would like to see, PLUS one or two they found themselves. How did they find it? Usually one of the big websites.

What is a seller to do? Make sure your agent is advertising your property online. Our team showcases all of our listings on Realtor.com, Yahoo! Real Estate, Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Craigslist.com, and more. This puts our clients’ home at the top of the search results, allows us to show off more photos, and even suggests our listing to a buyer who is looking at a similar one. At the very least, this increases the exposure of our listing and many times our listings sell because of this additional advertising. It’s not cheap, but pays of f for us and our clients. It also reduces the time our listings stay on the market.

Has your home been languishing on the market for a long time? Make you’re home look great and use professional photography and video, which buyers love! We do a walk-through with all of our listings and give our seller a list of ideas that will maximize their homes value.  We’ll also help de-clutter and remove as many personal items and photos as possible. You’re moving right? Do you really want to take all that stuff with you? Spend a weekend purging your closets and garage. Get rid of bulky or unsightly furniture and move the rest around to open up the rooms and make your space more appealing. A little paint can add thousands of dollars in value to your home. Lastly, keep your home clean while it’s on the market.

Knowing how home buyers find homes will help you market your home .

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