Profile picture for Wes Black

How long is the average home buyer search?

An average buyer searches for 12 weeks and visits 12 homes before making a choice. 51% of buyers said that finding the right property was the most difficult part of the buying process. Aug, 2102 Real Estate Report from Buffini Co
  • August 13 2012 - Louisville
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Answers (13)

Profile picture for burncard98
I'd say the biggest problem now if finding a home where the investors haven't pumped the value far past reason.  From 125k in 2011 to 250k in 2014.....makes zero sense.  
  • June 29 2014
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It depends on what is meant by search. Some people begin looking online prior to being financially or physically ready to go out and tour homes. We have buyers that go in one home, buy it right away and we have other that look at 15 homes before finding the right one for their family. Either way don't be afraid to make a commitment and realize it is unlikely you will love every aspect of any home. A week or two spent shopping online will save you time. It will help you determine what you really like and what things cost. From there hire a professional to help you with the process. They will work for you and help you narrow your search.
  • June 29 2014
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It takes as long as necessary to find the home that you like.  Do not settle.
  • June 16 2014
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We found a house in a few days.....one day looking on the internet, one day scouting out the area on our own, and one Saturday moring with a realtor taking an inside closer look at three of the homes we narrowed it down to the one. The house we selected had only been listed for maybe a week.
  • June 16 2014
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Profile picture for user7238184
This is the most accurate statement I have EVER read about the homebuying process..
  • May 22 2014
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Profile picture for WillFischer
from the perspective of the buyer, it does not matter of what statistics tell you about the average time it takes to find a home. I have worked with clients who found their dream home in a day, another took close to a year. It all depends on where you are in your life, how patient you are in finding the right home, and finding a home that is right for you.  At the end of the day, if you are happy than so am I. 
  • November 01 2012
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
If "average" is stated without any further clarification, it means "arithmetic mean"  1/n(∑An), not geometric mean, harmonic mean, mode, nor median.

And it is useful for Realtors to know what the average is for two reasons:
1) it gives them a clue if a specific client is on the high side or low side, or if they are choosing clients on the high side or low side (and if always on the high side, it could mean the agent is being inefficient).

2) since the agent's income is not steady, the average showings and average elapsed time gives the agent some clue of their average income (after factoring in price ranges of searches).

It would be nice if people would present a standard deviation, or tolerance margin with statistics, but frankly, the only people that bother are either researchers, or manufacturers.  For assembly line production, tolerance margins are extremely critical as parts will not fit if those tolerances are ignored, and the cost to get tighter tolerances goes up exponentially.  For home construction, no one cares.  They assume the plans mean +/- 1/8", and the framers assume that if they are off 1/4", no one cares, and no one will check it.  Surveyors like to be within 1", but in mountain areas, can often be off more than 10 ft.

It is interesting to note that for Zillow home indexes, Zillow uses the "median" of the estimates for the defined region.  And for the upper and lower tier index, it is the median of the top 1/3, and the median of the bottom 1/3, so essentially "hextile" data.  (The U.S. Census provides Quartile data).

It is believed that the monthly Zestimate that shows in the trend chart is an "average" (arithmetic mean) of all the estimates made for that property with the month (nominally 3 times a week), but that has not been confirmed yet.  I've been collecting the individual estimates for selected properties for several months now, specifically for checking the monthly numbers to see if they are an "arithmetic mean" or not.
  • August 14 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Sadly, much like Oz the name Buffini is more powerful than the real person...poof
  • August 13 2012
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
The Great Buffini will be doing shows throughout the day...
  • August 13 2012
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Profile picture for Westside Realtor
Dear Wes...
Oh,how I would love to say a couple of weeks! The truth is however no less then four (4) months and as long as six (6)!!
Quite  a bit depends upon the expectations of the buyer, including Budget, amenities, location etc. Some goals are not realistic and I conclude cannot be met. If I can't talk reason I sometimes have to part company with a buyer  ( unfortunately).
  • August 13 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
The word "average" is always an amusing way to present something with nothing else to offer context to the numbers.   As there are statistically several types of average including mean, median and mode, when a group puts up "average", we have no way of knowing which is presented.  In addition, an average of any type presented without the complimentary statistics to suggest accuracy is nearly uninterpretable.  It simply  suggests someone has gone to Excel for calculations  and doesn't understand the numbers being presented. (Darn Microsoft for using the word "average" in their formulas)   For example, the Zestimate is presented with a "value range" for the 70% confidence interval.  (Of course, a Zestimate is not an average.)   A mean is usually presented with a number and a +/- showing at least a standard deviation.    A tiny standard deviation shows much less variance in the population samples than a bigger standard deviation.

We're a good example of why "average" in this sort of situation is a bit of a silly number with offers being made at day 1 in one  situation and after six months in another.

But, Mr Black (on average) doesn't go back and read responses to his posts so I suspect isn't interested in dialog but getting his posting numbers up.
  • August 13 2012
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We have had buyers find their perfect home in a few weeks up to 3 years of looking. I heard of one extreme case of off and on over 10 years but it was nice that the buyer used the same agent so she could earn a commission for her hard work.
  Most of our clients start their search online and really narrow down their focus before we actually start seeing properties.
  I say take as long as you need but when you see something you like put your best foot forward so you don't miss out.  
  • August 13 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
There are lots of home buyer and realtor statistics available direct from the NAR website for people who prefer to read the primary source of information.
  • August 13 2012
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