Homebuyer Trends ... how do you compare?

Below are a few statistics about homebuyers, according to NAR.  How does/did your home search compare with the national statistics below?

  • Average homebuyer searches 12 weeks and looks at 12 homes before making a decision.
  • 47% of recent purchases were by 1st-time homebuyers, with 53% being from repeat buyers.
  • 90% of homebuyers used internet to search for homes, often times even driving by selected properties, before contacting a professional to help.
  • July 04 2010 - Athens
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Answers (6)

Profile picture for sunnyview
Wow. The average buyer only looked at 12 houses over about 12 weeks. I was definitely not the norm then. I looked at every house listing that came on the market in 3 different zip codes to find the right house over about a year. I visited at least a hundred open houses. I kept my agent's footwork to a minimum by asking only for emailed listings and price updates as they came in. I asked for very few showings with my agent maybe a total of 6-8 and only looked at houses that I thought would be a good fit.

I sure don't think that 12 weeks total is long enough to make a good buying decision especially for a first time homebuyer. If you are brand new to the process, you don't even know what questions you should be asking. Floor plan, schools and choosing the right neighborhood is so important that you need to figure out how to collect the information you need to make a choice that you will be happy with down the line.

I am happy with the house I chose, but no house that I saw in the first 12 weeks would have been a good fit for my family's lifestyle, finances or long term plan. People seem to move on average every 3-7 years. Maybe they're picking the wrong house in the first 12 weeks. My advice if you're looking to buy is do your homework, trust yourself and pick a house that fits without feeling rushed. The right house will be there and if it's not, it may not be the right time to buy so keep looking.
  • July 04 2010
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
The stats provided by NAR consist of averaged numbers.  Everybody is different not only in their needs but also on their timeframe for looking at a home.  I have moved 19 times, and a few of these moves were overseas.  I did not have the luxury of looking for homes for an extended period of time, so you narrow the field and select the best that is available at that time.  Interesting enough, as I look back, I was happy in every home I owned, it may not have been perfect, but neither am I.  Nowadays there is so much inventory that one can go crazy looking.  I equate it with going into mega-stores where there are so many choices of everything that selecting one is an ordeal.  For instance, this year I had a buyer who had been looking for a home for three years and finally found a home paying $100,000 less than he had anticipated when he started looking, and I also had another buyer who looked at 3 homes and bought the 3rd one in the $400,000 range. If I average these two buyers only,  we have an average of 19 weeks. 
The Internet has been pivotal in the decision making process of buyers, agents have to keep up with it, because our buyers are very well educated. 
I think that the first time buyer number may be a bit artificial given the $8000 tax incentive.  Let's see how the figures pan out now that the incentive is gone. 
  • July 04 2010
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
Even more astonishing is the amount of time a buyer looks at a given house before buying it.  The average is only 21 minutes!

Sure, you can say they just knew, or that it met the search criterion in their price range, or that it was intuition, or that they ran some calcs...

But you could also say that it was NAR "rush to buy" tactics.

"KFWB- news 98; you give us 22 minutes and we'll give you the news"
(You give us 22 minutes and we'll sell you a house).
  • July 22 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Holy cow are you serious?! 21 minutes from walking in the front door to saying let's write the contract is unbelievable. And I thought 12 weeks was too short a timeframe.
  • July 22 2010
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
"I asked for very few showings with my agent maybe a total of 6-8..." -

Over 1 year; that is definitely fewer than 12 in 12 weeks...
The 12 was "agent showings", not open house visits and other drive-bys.

No reason to waste the agent's time on it if it is not even in the running.
  • July 22 2010
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"Home Trends" for what area and what specifically?
  • July 22 2010
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