Despite the proliferation of devices and apps, Americans still shop for real estate the old fashioned way.
According to the National Association of Realtors, almost 90% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.
But did you know that more than 90 percent of homebuyers now also use the Internet in their search process, and 50 percent use real estate applications on their mobile device?
House hunters love to use sites like Realtor.com to preview neighborhoods and tour multiple homes online before visiting in person with their agents. Buyers still value their agent’s expertise when it comes time to determine fair market value, negotiate deals and contracts, and avoid the pitfalls that can sink a deal. But consumers are embracing online apps because they make it easy to visit dozens of properties in the comfort of their own home, and rapidly narrow down their search to a manageable size.
Many Americans have also used Zillow to check the value of their home. Zillow’s price estimates – or “zestimates” – have made it into what BusinessWeek calls the “king of online real estate.”
Helpful Hint: Check out U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Online Tools for Your Housing Search” and see how Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, and Redfin can help you find the perfect property.