Whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, selling a home is an involved process. In other words, it’s not like selling an autographed photo of Joe Montana on E-bay, where you can post your listing on Wednesday and make the sale on Thursday. Selling a home includes numerous puzzle pieces, and buyers are among the major of them. It’s important, therefore, to understand a little about what buyers are thinking and how they’re approaching the home-buying process. If you’re working with a Realtor to sell your home, he or she can explain much of this to you. But we thought we’d outline a few aspects of buyer behavior here, based on recent statistics, so you can get a quick heads-up on trends and turns in the current Silicon Valley real estate market.
Among those looking to buy a new home, 60 percent believe the housing market will experience a significant price increase during the next five years. Thirty-six percent expect this increase within a year. This may be good news for sellers. Individuals who want a new home and are capable of buying it now could be motivated to get in while the prices are still relatively low rather than face higher prices several years down the road.
Agents vs. the Internet
In searching for homes, 61 percent of buyers rely on their real estate agents to search available properties and find those that are appropriate. But with expansive home-search sites like Realtor.com popping up everywhere, more and more buyers are going online, at least for their initial searches. In 2013, 37 percent of buyers found their homes online, up from 16 percent in 2012. Not surprisingly, nearly all buyers incorporate the use of smart phones and other mobile devices into online search activity.
Time spent on decisions
As home prices (and interest rates) rise, we’re seeing some buyers spending more time considering a purchase before contacting an agent. Currently, the average buyer mulls over the decision to buy a home for six months, compared to a year ago, when the average consideration time was three months. This trend may continue as the economy recovers further.
Contacting real estate agents
The majority of real estate agents today have their own professional websites – and for good reason. Among first-time home buyers, 75 percent found their agents online. For buyers, websites help them get to know prospective agents and at the same time see what kinds of properties are available. For sellers, agents with a thriving online presence can considerably speed up the sale of their homes.
With the prevalence of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others, increasing numbers of people looking to sell a home are taking advantage. Why? Because social media can make quick contacts with people seeking a new home. In 2010, 24 percent of home sellers and/or their real estate agents incorporated social media into the selling process. Two years later, that percentage had jumped to 74.
Understanding buyer behavior is important in selling a home. It’s also important to understand the real estate market in your area. While some sellers choose to go it alone, those who work with a professional Realtor gain many advantages, not the least of which is the agent’s ability to put together a sweeping online presence for their homes. If you’ve decided to sell your home, Hadar Guibara can help you to specifically position that home for the fastest sale possible. Call (650) 947-2942 to get the answers you need. You can also do your own targeted home search.