Survey shows people are making offers sight-unseen

According to a recent survey by U.S based brokerage Redfin,  one in three home buyers are making offers sight-unseen. What does this mean for real estate agents and the future of home buying?

With the advancement of technology and the competitive nature of the real estate industry (and market), it is becoming clear that home buyers are starting to make use of alternatives to not only find their ideal home but also buy their new home, and the real estate agents that adapt are the ones that will thrive.

While the survey is based on the U.S marketplace, this is much more than just a market shift - this is a generational shift.  The thirty-three percent of people that bought a property sight-unseen in 2016 is a massive 19 percent higher than 2015 and 21 percent from two years ago.

“Millennials were more than three times as likely as their parents to make offers sight-unseen, with 41 percent having said they had done so, compared to 30 percent of Gen Xers and only 12 percent of baby boomers,” the survey revealed.

This can likely be attributed to stock shortages in metro areas - a trend that is not only limited to the United States but can also be seen in the metro areas of South Africa as well.

What does this mean for real estate marketing?

In a market where stock shortages are a major issue, home buyers, and tenants for that matter cannot always afford to wait for an opening in their busy day or a show day to visit the property to make an offer - it might be too late.

The smart real estate agent will make use of the extensive technology available to them to help buyers make an offer on a property they haven’t physically visited before.

Virtual tours, which Entegral supports with free 360 virtual tours for real estate agents, and 3D home tours from companies like Matterport will play a vital role in listings of the future. The availability of suburb data, property information, and high-quality photos will further assist the potential buyer to make an offer.

Having high-quality photos and accurate data can help buyers make quick and informed decisions about whether they are really interested in your home and can help save time for everyone by bringing just the most serious homebuyers.

The survey does point out that while offers are made sight unseen, they aren’t necessarily buying blind. Potential buyers will stop by the property before putting their signature on the dotted line - and here the usual rules for site visits still matter.

Agents that adopt this approach to listings will definitely set themselves apart from the crowd and in a highly competitive industry, every advantage is worth its weight in gold.

The survey, which was conducted in May by SurveyGizmo on behalf of Redfin, was based on responses from 3,350 U.S. residents in 11 of the most competitive metropolitan areas who bought or sold a home in the past year. You can read the full article from Redfin here: One in Three Recent Homebuyers Made an Offer Sight-Unseen—Up from Nearly One in Five a Year Ago

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