More than one-third of people — 35 percent — who bought homes last year submitted a bid without ever seeing the homes in person. According to a recent Redfin, this is an increase from 33 percent in May 2017 and significantly higher than 19 percent in June 2016.
There is a growing number of homebuyers, particularly millennials, who are unable to observe a home before making a purchase, largely due to being busy or out of town. In fact, millennial consumers were even more likely to make an offer sight-unseen, with 45 percent responding that they bid on homes unseen in November. This is significantly higher than 28 percent of Gen X and 6 percent of baby boomers.
This reflects millennials’ comfort with using the internet to browse and research information about a home and neighborhood. Instead, they often rely on alternate solutions like 3-D tours and FaceTime to take a closer look at homes. They also take advantage of the vast array of statistics, reviews, maps and articles online that can help a potential buyer make their decision. Meanwhile, they still see the value in relying on traditional real estate agents, who they turn to for details and information the buyer can’t find online.
With inventory still struggling to loose and the number of millennial homebuyers escalating, buyers may continue to be more willing to take a chance on a home without even stepping foot in it.