People are taking longer to decide on a home to buy, and many will view their short-listed properties more than once before making an offer, according to a new survey.
Zolo, a Canadian real estate firm, said its survey of almost 2,000 recent home buyers that the average person spent around 124 hours, or just over 10 days, searching for a home to buy. But one of their biggest regrets is that they wish they’d spent even longer searching and viewing homes, the survey found.
Still, sellers can take heart from the fact that the more often the same person views their home, the better the prospects are for a sale. Just 10% of buyers viewed a home once before making an offer, compared to 23% who visited a home twice, 31% who went three times, and 20% who did so four or more times.
Interestingly, the survey found that younger buyers, who we might expect to be more care-free, actually spent more time viewing a property before buying than their older counterparts. Buyers aged 21 to 29 viewed a home three or four times on average before making an offer, compared to those aged 30 to 39, who viewed a property just twice on average.
All in all though, buyers are casting their nets fairly wide. The average buyer viewed 19 homes before settling on the one they want, the survey found.
Once a buyer finds the property they want, they don’t linger after their final visit. A quarter of home buyers spent between 46 minutes and 60 minutes in a home before making an offer. Another 28% spent a maximum of two hours in a home before making an offer. Seventy-one percent would make an offer within 24 hours of viewing.
If the buyers could do it all over again, more than a quarter—28%—say they would “spend more time during the viewing” phase before they bought a home. Also, 27% say they would “take friends or family to help with the viewing process,” and 21% would view even more homes next time. Twenty percent also say they’d get a home inspection before making an offer, and 20% would book more viewings of the home they’re interested in purchasing.
“A buyer can certainly move quicker but still complete their due diligence,” says Mustafa Abbasi, president of Zolo. “For example, buyers can get their financing in order, they can keep separate accounts for closing costs, and have their real estate experts, such as home inspectors, ready to go.”