Use of Internet by all California homebuyers tops 50 percent for second year

This is a great report from a fe months ago that was released by the California Association of Realtors. It proves the point that Realtors that do not pay attention to the internet will be left further and further behind
LOS ANGELES (March 29) – Nearly two-thirds of all first-time homebuyers used the Internet as a significant part of the homebuying process, while less than half of repeat homebuyers did so, according to the California Association of REALTORS®’ “2005 Internet Versus Traditional Buyers Survey,” released today. Other important distinctions emerged between Internet buyers and their traditional counterparts. According to the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) report, Internet buyers were younger, wealthier, better educated and more likely to be married than traditional buyers. However, Internet buyers and traditional buyers should not be viewed as two separate populations but as segments in the spectrum of the homebuying population, each utilizing technology in varying degrees.

“The Internet has complemented, not diminished, the REALTOR®’s role in the homebuying transaction,” said C.A.R. President Jim Hamilton. “Homebuyers ultimately turned to their REALTOR® for both interpretation of information gleaned from the Internet, and for their REALTOR®’s expertise and judgment throughout the homebuying process. Homebuyers clearly view the Internet as a tool to enhance their ability to research the real estate market, rather than a replacement for a REALTOR®’s expertise in the field.”

According to the survey, homebuyers who used the Internet as an integral part of the homebuying process increased to 62 percent in 2005 compared with 56 percent the previous year. Homebuyers using the Internet surpassed the 50 percent mark for the first time in the six-year history of C.A.R.’s survey in 2004.

“As more consumers gain access to high-speed connections and spend more time online, they have clearly experienced a growing comfort level with using the Internet in all facets of their day-to-day lives,” said Hamilton. “This has translated into greater use of the Internet when buying a home. Given the competitive nature of the current real estate market, consumers increasingly look to the Internet for information. As a result, homebuyers are better informed and maintain a greater sense of control over the homebuying process.”

Internet buyers and traditional buyers expressed significant differences in how they conducted their homebuying research. Internet buyers conducted more research at the onset of the homebuying process, while traditional buyers relied more on their agent as their source of information.

Other key findings from C.A.R.’s 2005 Internet Versus Traditional Buyers Survey include:

• The median age of Internet buyers was 39 years compared with a median of 46 years for traditional buyers.

• More than nine out of 10 Internet buyers were married, while eight of 10 traditional buyers were married.

• Eighty-five percent of Internet buyers had at least a four-year college degree and 11 percent completed post-graduate work. By comparison, 78 percent of traditional buyers held a college degree and 4 percent completed post-graduate work.

• Internet buyers had an annual income of $185,088, compared with $151,190 for traditional buyers.

• Internet buyers spent an average of 5.8 weeks considering buying a home before contacting a REALTOR®, nearly three times more than traditional buyers, who spent 2.1 weeks in this stage of the homebuying process.

• Internet buyers spent two weeks looking for the home they ultimately purchased, compared with seven weeks for traditional buyers.

• Close to six of 10 Internet buyers said the information that they gathered from the Internet was less useful than that provided by their REALTORS®; none considered the information gathered from the Internet to be more useful than that obtained from their REALTORS®.

• All first-time buyers typically spent four weeks considering buying a home and four weeks investigating homes for sale before contacting a REALTOR®. They then spent three weeks previewing eight homes with their REALTOR®

• All repeat buyers spent three weeks considering buying a home and only two weeks investigating homes for sale on their own. They spent five weeks previewing 10 homes with their REALTOR®.

C.A.R.’s “2005 Internet Versus Traditional Buyer Survey” will be available in May 2005 for purchase in electronic format for $19.95 for C.A.R. members and $39.95 for non-members and in hard copy format for $24.95 for C.A.R. members and $49.95 for non-members by calling (213) 739-8227 or logging on to Journalists who would like a copy of the report should e-mail markg@car.orgor call (213) 739-8304.

Leading the Way…™ in California real estate for 100 years, the California Association of REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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