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How Artificial Intelligence is Affecting First-Time Home Buyers

By Ben Shepardson | June 13, 2022

Technology allows us to take new approaches to old problems, and these approaches are faster, easier, and yield better results. This is as true in the real estate industry as any other – in a realm where buying and selling homes used to require lots of hard work, innovations like the internet, artificial intelligence, and mobile computing have made the process much less strenuous than it was in the past. 

artificial intelligence

One of the newest technological breakthroughs, both in the real estate sector and beyond, is the use of artificial intelligence. AI has absolutely revolutionized many processes associated with buying and selling homes, and as a result, first-time home buyers are reaping the benefits in a major way. Let’s take a look at how AI potentially affects first-time home buyers for the better.

Faster, Better, Harder, Stronger

Artificial intelligence might bring up ideas of red-eyed talking computers that try to lock you out of your spaceship and sing Daisy Bell, but the Hollywood version of AI and the real-world application of artificial intelligence are very different. In the context of real estate, AI has been used, quite successfully, to speed up processes that real estate agents, and house hunters, were already doing. The research that goes into finding homes for sale and matching buyers with the right mortgage, for example, are all things that realtors have always done – now, with the aid of Artificial intelligence, they’re getting done quicker than ever. 

A real-world example of this is the well-known real estate site, Zillow. Its Zestimate tool uses artificial intelligence in the form of a complex network of algorithms to track and analyze home values and come up with a likely price estimate. In fact, in 2022 alone, Zillow used the Zestimate neural network to evaluate 100 million homes. Thanks to its newest AI upgrade, the network has one of the most accurate prediction models on the market.

Helping Home Buyers 

But Zillow is just one example of how AI can help make the home buying process easier for everyone involved. Just about every large-scale company in the real estate sector is leveraging artificial intelligence for their own needs, and the proliferation of AI means that this directly helps home buyers. First-time home buyers especially benefit from the sheer power and speed that artificial intelligence brings to the house hunting process since the supply of homes for sale in the United States has made it exceedingly difficult to find the perfect starter home.

How AI resolves these problems is deceptively simple. Artificial intelligence algorithms have the ability to look through huge amounts of data in a heartbeat, comparing publicly-available real estate records that house hunters would struggle to do so on their own. Even realtors, who have the knowledge and expertise to find all that information, can’t act nearly as fast as a computer that thinks at the speed of light. An AI can identify, in a flash, homes in the area that meet a new home buyer’s criteria, how likely the current owner is to sell, and what the price of the home would be, all by simply analyzing the data available.

Realtors, Too, Benefit from AI

In the not-so-distant past, it was sometimes difficult for realtors to source properties for sale. More than one veteran real estate professional can likely attest to knocking on more than a few doors in a chosen neighborhood in order to forge some connections with potential sellers after doing their own extensive, laborious research. And then, it was never a sure thing – even when your own research indicated that there was a good chance the homeowner was thinking about selling, you could still get it wrong a lot of the time.

Now, artificial intelligence can do the research for a real estate agent, and in a fraction of the time. Not only that, but a collection of algorithms or an integrated neural network can spot things that a human researcher might overlook, identify market trends earlier and with more accuracy, and, in many cases, even handle automated processes to contact any prospective house sellers it identifies. This makes realtors much more agile and successful, and that, in turn, helps new home buyers find their perfect property as well.

The Future of AI in the Real Estate Sector

It’s natural to have some fear of the newest technology, especially when popular culture has been warning us about the dangers of obsolescence through automation, of being replaced by a computer that can think better than we can. But today’s AI isn’t thinking better than us – it’s just thinking faster. A realtor, or even a determined home buyer, can access all the same data that an artificial intelligence can, after all. The difference here is how quickly that task can be done

And speed makes the difference. In today’s quick-paced real estate markets where properties can appear and vanish nearly overnight, it’s all too easy for a new home buyer to miss out on what would have been the perfect starter home because of any delay. AI speeds up this process so that no one has to miss out on the opportunities that are out there for them, and that’s the true benefit that buyers and realtors alike can enjoy. Even sellers benefit from AI, as these same algorithms can help find the perfect buyer for their home quicker and easier than ever before. That’s why using artificial intelligence, which will only get more sophisticated as time goes by, is a benefit for everyone involved.

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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