A recently completed report on home sellers and home buyers(Hebert Research for HouseValues Inc.), shows that home sellers take on average 9.3 months from the time they begin researching until they sell.
It takes home buyers 16.7 months, on average, to research and buy their next home.
The study aslo found that:
- First-time home buyers invest an average of 20.5 months in the entire home-buying process, the study also found.
- Before even thinking about selling, consumers can take up to four years subconsciously collecting experiences related to their home, including current and future desired requirements, features and amenities. These experiences compound to bring the home sale to the forefront of consciousness, triggering an active research phase.
- Once the research phase has been initiated, it takes sellers an average of 9.3 months to sell – 5.5 months in a pre-research phase, 1.4 months for the active research phase, and 2.4 months for the active selling phase.
- The majority of sellers – 52.1 percent – take one day to select an agent.
- Buyers, like sellers, often take up to four years collecting experiences related to their current home, and potential future needs.
- It takes buyers nearly a year and a half – 16.4 months on average – to buy from the time they begin thinking about a purchase.
- Once the research phase for buyers has been initiated, it takes an average of 16.7 months to buy – 7.1 months in the pre-research phase, 5.5 months in the active research phase, and 4.1 months in the active buying phase.
- Forty-four percent of buyers take more than six months thinking about desirable homes and neighborhoods before actually searching for listings. The average buyer then spends more than four months searching for homes.
- First-time buyers take an average of 20.5 months on the entire home-buying process.
- 61.8 percent of buyers select their real estate agent within just one to three days.
The survey also explored the reasons why consumers choose their real estate agent:
Consumers use agents for three main reasons: paperwork/legal work; negotiations; and access to listings.
Buyers and sellers tend to choose an agent based on experience, honesty and past relationships.
These numbers vary greatly from other studies say such as in California which found that :
- 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 spend 4.7 weeks investigating homes, and neighborhoods, before contacting an agent, while traditional buyers spent 1.6 weeks.
- Internet buyers took only two weeks before selecting a home ,while traditional buyers took seven weeks.
- Because the Internet allows buyers to preview homes, a typical Internet buyer only viewed 6.2 homes with their agent, while traditional buyers visited 14.5 homes.
- Nine out of ten Internet buyers found their agents through an online real estate listing site; 60% found their agent through Internet search engines such as Yahoo! or Google. (note I am not sure that google is a real estate searchengine) 12% used agents they had worked with previously. (I would take this to mean that the online exposure buys you loyalty)
- Traditional buyers found their agents through for-sale signs (47 percent). Half (47 percent) found their agents through agent advertising. One quarter (26 percent) of agents were referred by friends and family, and 19 percent had a previous transaction with their agent.
- Internet buyers typically interviewed only one agent (71 percent) -- the first one who responded to them. Traditional buyers interviewed a median of three agents, and 37 percent interviewed four or more agents.
- A whopping 47 percent of Internet buyers said they selected their agent because of responsiveness, while only 42 percent of traditional buyers chose their agent for that reason. So half will pick you just for showing up.
- 22 percent of Internet buyers and 21 percent of traditional buyers choosing agents they felt would be the most aggressive on their behalf.
- Internet buyers are more likely to be first-time buyers, they are younger, wealthier, better educated and more likely married.
- 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 ten homes with their Realtor.
"The Internet is enabling consumers to research and gather information well in advance of actually buying or selling," said Ian Morris, HouseValues CEO. "This research shows that real estate agents are critical to the transaction, but are chosen late in the decision-making process, and very quickly. The takeaway for real estate professionals is to be first, fast and frequent in their communication with consumers, and that often means delivering value and information many months in advance of an expected transaction."
Ian Morris says 74 percent of consumers now begin their home research online, yet only 10 percent of real estate marketing budgets have followed them there
Being able to generate leads is not enough. Generating email campaigns that last overtime that shares your personality and stacks value on top of value will win over prospects and keep you top of mind when it comes time to choose. And according to the data they choose quick. Your job is to get out in front of the decision process early. You do this by capturing their name and courting and segmenting them until they are ready to move your relationship to the next level.