The internet is now a normal part of our daily routine, so it is no surprise that it was an important tool to buyers in the home buying process. Ninety-six percent of buyers used the internet during the process, a significant rise from 28 percent in 2000, and 62 percent in 2005.
The majority of buyers (70 percent) primarily accessed the internet from their smart phones, 15 percent accessed it from their tablets, eight percent from a laptop and seven percent from a desktop. In addition to accessing the internet (90 percent), buyers used their mobile devices to look for comparable home prices (78 percent), search for homes (47 percent), communicate (45 percent), and research neighborhoods and amenities (44 percent).
Realtor.com and Zillow are very popular among buyers. Realtor.com has been the most useful website to buyers in the home buying process since 2007, followed by Zillow and Yahoo. More than half of all buyers (54 percent) found their home on either realtor.com or Zillow.
The use of social media in the buying process continued increasing this year, with three-quarters of buyers using it, compared to 52 percent who used it in 2011. Buyers primarily used social media for buying tips and suggestions from friends (43 percent), neighborhood information (42 percent), and to view their agents’ Facebook pages (41 percent). The use of social media as a form of communication is expected to grow in the future, with 91 percent of buyers indicating they are receptive to receiving information about the home buying process directly from their agent via social media.