ForSaleByOwner.com hailed data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that shows the Internet continues to grow as a dominant information source for homebuyers. NAR statistics for 2008 found that 32% of buyers first saw the home they purchased on the Internet – up from just 8% in 2001. During the same timeframe, the percentage of buyers who found their home through a real estate agent has dropped, falling from 48% in 2001 to 34% in 2008.
Of all homebuyers, 87% used the Internet to search for a home in 2008, up from 84% in 2007, 80% in 2006, and 2% in 1997.
“Despite a slowdown in the housing market, real estate consumers have increased their usage of the Internet as their ‘go-to’ real estate information source in order to successfully find the home they purchase,” said Greg Healy, vice president of Operations for ForSaleByOwner.com. “This continues a trend where consumers are becoming more independent in the home buying process and are educating themselves about real estate issues.”
“The Internet is vitally important for marketing a home in today’s marketplace. Home sellers need to know that they can sell their homes without an agent, especially if they use the Internet’s full marketing power to attract the growing amount of buyers who go online to find their home,” added Healy.
ForSaleByOwner.com attracts nearly three times the amount of online visitors as its next closest competitor and offers services that also post customer listings to websites such as Realtor.com, Craigslist, USAToday.com, Yahoo Real Estate, Google Base and Facebook, among other sites.
Several recent research projects also contain information that can provide confidence to home sellers that they can sell their homes themselves. For example, NAR found that people who sell “by owner” get closer to their asking price and sell quicker compared to those who used an agent. Separate studies from Northwestern University and Stanford University found that “by owner” sellers are as effective as agents in maximizing the sales price of their homes and, after commissions, come out financially ahead. The September 2008 issue of Consumer Reports magazine reported that FSBO sellers are more likely to get their asking price while agents deliver, on average, a sales price that is $5,000 less than the original asking price.
Where home buyers found the home they purchased- 2001 vs. 2008: