Computer screen with words marketing strategy

In 2021, the National Association of Realtors surveyed 5,795 home buyers and published its results in the 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Here’s a graph showing where buyers found the home they purchased during each of the last twenty years.

Graph showing frequency of method used to find home purchased

As you can see, there was a time when newspapers and other print media were reasonable ways to market a property. And while there are still some agents that use home publications to try and win listings, the buyers just don’t use them anymore.

Instead, they rely primarily on internet portals and agent websites, emails, and MLS searches. Zillow and are the most prominent portals, but there are hundreds of websites where buyers can search for homes, and real estate ads are everywhere, including social media, Google search results, and GPS driving apps. Some of our ads even follow buyers around as they surf news sites and shop for underwear.

A few decades ago, most buyers found properties by sitting down with agents in brick-and-mortar storefronts, looking at binders of printed listing sheets. Nowadays, buyers who find a home using an agent usually never meet the agent in person until touring a property. Instead, agents often set buyers up to receive listing alerts by email and give them access to MLS searches.

So, while agents may have alerted buyers to potential properties, it’s still an internet-based process now.

The Importance Of Photography

Whether surfing internet portals or their inbox, home shoppers will scroll past properties unless the photos catch and hold their interest. Pictures must be carefully composed and taken with a wide-angle lens at multiple exposures, then combined with special software to ensure all the lighting is perfect and the images pop with color and detail.

Graph showing how useful home buyers found different website features

In addition to photos, internet buyers also want virtual tours, interactive maps, and videos. And while digital content is essential, buyers still depend on agents providing other property information.

The Chicken VS The Egg

According to the NAR report, 51% of buyers “found” the home they purchased online, while only 28% found it through an agent. While at first glance, it may appear that agents aren’t playing as big a role as they used to, listing agents are still gathering and entering the content buyers find on the internet, and the vast majority of buyers ultimately use an agent.

Chart showing actions taken as a result of internet home search

Buyers contact agents to request more information, help find a lender, set up property tours, write offers, manage transactions, and eventually purchase properties.

Why Our Listings Sell Better

When listing a property, we understand that a big part of our job is providing professional home photography, drone photography, and video home tours. But, since 87 percent of buyers ultimately purchase through an agent, we also focus on equipping buyer agents with all the resources they need to sell our listings.

Chart graphing frequency of use of method of home search

Most buyers purchase a home through a different agent than the one that listed the property. That’s why we ensure every listing is posted to the MLS with detailed property information and listing documents other agents will need to sell our homes.

Some of these documents include aerial photography with boundary lines, condition reports, a list of seller improvements and utility providers, well construction reports, septic system plans, and tax records. In addition, we leave a binder of property documents at each of our listings just in case a buyer agent forgets a document, and their seller has a question during a showing.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to make a move, you may not have to press pause on your plans this season. Let’s connect to determine the safe and effective options to buy or sell a home in our area or wherever you’re looking to move.

2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers