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Home hunters rely on online tools

Listings, maps, data transfers all key resources

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Home hunters rely on online tools

Consumers use technology to do just about everything, including looking for and buying a home. A recent independent poll commissioned by Discover Home Loans shows 89% of homebuyers use some form of online technology to help them with the home purchase process.

In fact, 76% of buyers feel technology made them a smarter homebuyer and 69% said it made them more confident:

• Almost half of all homebuyers, 47%, report that using technology helped them save money.

• As many as 92% say technology helped save time.

• A significant portion (90%) report an overall positive experience.

While it’s no surprise nine out of ten buyers use online resources during the hunt, two-thirds say looking at online property listings has reached the point of becoming addictive.

The top three ways people use online resources in the homebuying process are:

• 83% look at real estate listings.

• 72% use online maps to explore neighborhoods.

• 71% use email, apps, or websites to submit documents to lenders.

Among those who looked at online listings, 78% say they spent time at work looking at properties.

Nearly all, 93%, of technology users say technology allowed them to do things remotely they otherwise would have had to do in person.

Shifting position versus agents

“Buyers are clearly looking to play a larger role in the homebuying process and turning to the latest technologies to find the information they need,” says T.J. Freeborn, senior manager of customer experience at Discover Home Loans.

While the real estate agent’s role remains critical, technology has become more important to buyers, and more integrated in the work of both real estate agents and buyers in the homebuying process. Understanding the more informed and confident homebuyer is essential for an effective real estate agent-buyer relationship. Among the study’s findings:

• The real estate agent’s role is still critical, as 83% of respondents reported working with real estate agents to buy their homes.

• 74% of homebuyers feel it’s important for their real estate agents to be tech savvy, with most, 82%, saying their agent was.

• Ironically, in communicating with agents, nearly all do so via phone.

• Of buyers working with agents, 42% feel that they did most of the work to initially find properties.

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