Is the buyers search time for buying a home getting shorter or longer? Is the Realtors time spent showing homes to a potential buyer getting shorter or longer? Is the property settlement time getting shorter or longer? You might be surprised at the answers. Read more…….
10 years ago, a buyer relied on the internet of course for their initial property search, as well as the Realtor who would forward potential listings directly to the buyer. That joint process took about 7 weeks. That search process resulted in generally 14-18 properties being shown to a potential buyer, by the agent, before making any decision to offer on their top pick.
Fast forward to today, the buyer actually spends more time in their property search, with most of it being done on-line. Today its common for a buyer to spend up to 10-12 weeks searching for that “diamond in the rough” home. The Realtor actually spends less time on their end pulling property to show a buyer, or weeding thru the potential buyers selections. The Realtor generally shows only 4-6 homes before the buyer makes their top pick and an offer prepared.
Once the home has been secured by a contract, if their is a loan requirement on the purchase, the time required for processing and closing has dropped from 45 days to 30 days. This change in processing time began in early 2016, as a result of the easing of some regulations, loan requirements, and those last minute verification of income, and verification of current debt forms.
So we see the buyer spending more time on the internet, narrowing down or eliminating the selection list with their Realtor, and visiting less homes before making a purchase. Statistically almost 75% of buyers are following this trend. These buyers are also searching using mobile devices like I-pads rather than desk top computers to perform their home search. Another change that has the buyer spending more time on-line is the number of photo’s allowed in the MLS system….up from 10, ten years ago, to 25 today. Google Earth has also been a great aid for buyers looking at potential neighborhoods in their search as well….another reason for longer buyer search times these days.
The one constant thru the last 10 years is the Realtor. Realtors are employed more than ever by buyers. Ten years ago, the FAR/BAR contract was 12 pages long, today a residential sales contract is 22 pages long. It is impossible for a buyer to read and understand some of the legal implications now involved in our contracts. Also in our area, with utility assessments, burrowing owls, bald eagle nests, land use changes, areas being annexed and rezoned………the Realtor has never been needed more!
NOTE: The statistics used for this article were pulled in part from the magazine “The Residential Specialist” of which I have a CRS designation.