It’s no secret the real estate market is going through a tech revolution, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has kept many of us from being able to visit homes in person. But it isn’t just COVID-19 that’s getting realtors deeper into tech.
It’s also millennials.
While millennials have been dunked on for years by older generations, Generation Y’s digital savviness is helping to keep the real estate market afloat during the pandemic and is even helping the industry charge ahead into the digital age once and for all.
Buying Virtually and Completely Online
According to a new survey from Zillow, up to 59% of millennial homebuyers (homebuyers between the ages of 26 and 41) say they’re confident making an offer on a home that they only toured virtually. Another 29% said they would be completely comfortable buying a home online.
Matt Daimler, Zillow’s Senior Vice President of Product, says that the next generation of homebuyers is likely to keep the industry strong long after the pandemic has ended. While digital tools such as virtual home tours and drone shots were adopted quickly during the pandemic to help make home buying and selling safer, these tools also make the home buying process more efficient and convenient.
Zillow is just one of the 1.8 billion websites operating at the same time every day, and virtual tours and other digital tools on these sites are allowing homebuyers to participate in the real estate market in a way buyers weren’t able to before. In the current market, homes are going fast. Nationwide, properties are going under contract in just 18 days, which is 28 days faster than just a year ago.
Risk vs. Reward
For first-time buyers, in particular, the time-saving benefits of digital tools are definitely a win. However, it’s important that digital-savvy homebuyers don’t get so caught up in the heat of the real estate market that they forget to conduct inspections. For instance, while some features such as landscaping can increase a home’s resale value by up to 14%, other features aren’t so pretty.
Older homes can sometimes be less expensive than newer properties, which can be alluring to first-time buyers. However, older properties also sometimes have older electrical wiring and plumbing, which can be expensive to fix. Pipeline corrosion alone costs the U.S. up to $9 billion every year.
That said, while homebuyers say they would like to use digital tours more frequently in the future according to Zillow’s survey, it’s crucial that buyers are still smart with their tech.
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