Will Millennials Buy Their Homes Online?

Sep 29, 2015

The real estate market has of course gotten better since the crash of 2008 – home sales are improving. It seems on the surface that the future is bright for realtors, especially with the advancement of the Internet. It allows an agent’s listings to be seen by a broader audience, which then leads to faster, more efficient sales. The latest numbers show that 95% of homes for sale get published online, but the number of deals closed on the web remains quite small.

Will Millennials actually buy homes online?

It is important to know who the Millennials are and for real estate agents to understand their impact of the real estate market. Millennials make up the generation that follows Generation X, and their birth years range from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.  A large portion of Millennials is just getting to the age where they will dip their toes in the housing market, and there is much debate as to whether or not they’ll turn to the Internet as a source of home buying. The question of whether Millennials will actually buy homes online is the subject of much debate.

Furthermore, there are questions surrounding the possibility of them using the Internet to purchase their homes, which would cause a major shift in how the real estate industry operates in the U.S. and later in the rest of the world.

How Real Estate Agents Will Be Affected by Technology

In 2014, 88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001. There was some time where people thought the Internet would cause agents and their services to become outdated and unnecessary, and that they would go the way of the dinosaur. However, real estate agents and the value they provide have remained in demand.

Even so, that has not stopped some people from further, predicting the demise of the real estate agent due to advancing technology.

How Technology May Change the Role of the Real Estate Agent

Technology is continuously helping real estate buyers and sellers better understand the full value of a property and providing essential information that may eventually turn agents into a platform host rather than an active participant.  One technological advancement is the 3-D virtual tour, which allows viewers the ability to enter a three-dimensional version of a house all while sitting in the comfort of their own home. The premise of a 3-D virtual tour is nothing new, but the technology has recently been able to provide a more accurate sense of what the inside of a home is actually like. Another technological advancement is the increased use of video. In short, the growth of technology is making every aspect of a standard real estate transaction much easier.

So, Will Millennials Buy Online

After a long journey through all the permutations of advancing technology, the question remains as to whether Millennials will be the first generation to purchase real estate online. Not many of them are doing so right now, but that is likely because Millennials do not have the financial means to do so. The narrative might be quite different 5 years from now, and real estate agents will need to be quite savvy when it comes to using new technology and remaining an integral part of the transaction process.

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