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More than a third of U.S. buyers last year made an offer without seeing the home first

By Mike Wheatley | March 1, 2018

With technology such as virtual tours and 3D rapidly gaining popularity, more and more buyers are prepared to make an offer on a home without seeing the property first. That’s according to a new survey of 1,500 home buyers from Redfin, which found that more than a third of Americans who bought a home in November and December of last year did so sight unseen.

In total, Redfin said 35 percent of home buyers made an offer on a home without seeing it with their own eyes during that two month period. That compares to just 19 percent who did the same in June 2016, illustrating the growth of new technology solutions.

Looking at age groups, we can see that younger generations are much more willing to buy a home without actually seeing it in person. 45 percent of millennials during the two month period made an offer before seeing. Redfin says that’s likely because younger adults are more comfortable with using technology and relying on the information about properties and their neighborhoods they can find online.

One of the most popular tools for viewing properties over the web is FaceTime, followed by 3D virtual tours that give viewers a better idea of the interior of a home. One Omaha-based real estate professional, Angela Hunter, told Redfin that she helped a family expecting a child to relocate from Jacksonville, Florida to Bellevue, Nebraska, using video tours exclusively to show them a variety of homes in the area.

“While conducting video tours with them, I was very careful to explain things that they would not be able to experience virtually, like the sounds, smells, and textures,” Hunter said. “I pointed out flaws that are hard to detect through video so that nothing would be a surprise to them once they visited in person. It’s not the easiest way to shop for a home, but together we found the perfect match.”

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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