Home buyers in the US are twice as likely to use online sources than print sources to find information about open houses they are interested in, according to a survey commissioned by Trulia and conducted by Harris Interactive.
The study found that 62% of US home buyers use or plan to use online sites to find open houses, compared with 53% who use/plan to use information from real estate agents, 36% who use/plan to use neighborhood signs and less than one-third (31%), who use/plan to use print sources, including newspapers and local flyers.
The study also found that though many home buyers rely upon a range of different sources to gather information about open houses, 41% say online sources are their primary resource, while 14% cite print sources, the survey found.
More than 9 in 10 home buyers in the US (91%) attended or plan to attend open houses during their home-purchase process, Trulia noted.
“The real estate section of the weekend newspaper is no longer the go-to resource for open houses,” said Sami Inkinen, co-founder and COO of Trulia. “Home buyers are increasingly going online to not only search for the most up to date listings but also to obtain rich information about the neighborhood, schools, and local shops.”
Inkinen added that online sites – such as Trulia – and related iPhone applications have experienced dramatic growth in recent years because they enable home buyers to search for open houses in neighborhoods that interest them, sign up for email alerts and learn more about the local areas in which they’re looking.
“We used to see home buyers walk into open houses with a newspaper in their hands,” said Aman Daro, VP of Integrated Marketing at McGuire Real Estate in San Francisco. “But now they walk in with print outs of their search on the web. What’s more, consumers are walking in very educated from their online research – they know details about the property and the neighborhood, and are more highly engaged in the process than the causal lookers of years past.”
About the survey: This April 2009 survey was commissioned by Trulia and conducted online within the US by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus between April 23-27, 2009 among 2,715 U.S. adults ages 18+. For purposes of the survey, “home buyers,” have been defined as the 192 respondents in this sample who purchased a home in the past 12 months or plan to purchase a home in the next 12 months. Results were weighted to be representative of the total US adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online.