Reflecting on the proliferating use of social media in today’s society, more home buyers than ever are turning to social media in the home-buying process, according to the California Association of Realtors' “2014 Survey of California Home Buyers.”
More than three-fourths of home buyers used social media in their home search, up from 52 percent who used it in 2011. Buyers said they primarily used social media to obtain buying tips and suggestions from friends (44 percent), neighborhood information (44 percent) and to view their agents’ Facebook pages (42 percent).
Mobile technology and the Internet continued to be important tools in the home-buying process, with 91 percent saying they used a mobile device to access the Internet during the course of their home purchase. Buyers used their mobile devices to look for comparable home prices (78 percent), search for homes (45 percent), and take photos of neighborhoods, homes and amenities (43 percent).
Conversely, with the increased use of social media, fewer buyers Googled their agent (50 percent in 2014, down from 68 percent in 2013), turning to agents’ Facebook pages instead.
In another sign of recent market competitiveness, more than nine in 10 buyers (91 percent) made one or more other offer, with an average of 3.6 offers in 2014, up from three offers in 2013. Additionally, buyers viewed a median of 20 homes in 2014, up from 10 last year.
Given the limited supply of homes available for sale, fewer buyers were satisfied with their home purchase than last year. Only about half of the buyers were satisfied with their purchase in 2014, down from two-thirds (66 percent) in 2013. Nearly half (46 percent) of buyers felt they “settled” on their home purchase in 2014, up from 34 percent.
— Ed Fuller is a real estate broker with San Roque Realty Inc. and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805.687.1551. The opinions expressed are his own.