This is a reposting of an article written by Omri Barzilay in Forbes Magazine
The real estate market has of course gotten better since the crash of 2008 – home sales are improving across the country and the market is growing. It seems on the surface that the future is bright for realtors, especially with the advancement of the Internet. It allows an agent’s listings to be seen by a broader audience, which then leads to faster, more efficient sales. The latest numbers show that 95% of homes for sale get published online, but the number of deals closed on the web remains quite small – just a fraction of the $2 trillion real estate industry. Will Millennials actually buy homes online? It is important to know who the Millennials are and for real estate agents to understand their impact of the real estate market. Millennials make up the generation that follows Generation X, and their birth years range from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. A large portion of Millennials is just getting to the age where they will dip their toes in the housing market, and there is much debate as to whether or not they’ll turn to the Internet as a source of home buying. The question of whether Millennials will actually buy homes online is the subject of much debate. Millennials certainly make up the first generation to be fully immersed in the web, but will they follow the path of previous generations, using the Internet only to search for homes and instead purchase them in person? While they are the generation that is fully immersed in the web that does not necessarily mean that they are more willing to buy homes online. In fact, they may follow in the steps of Generation X and the Baby Boomers and instead prefer to only search for homes online, but buy them in person.
There’s some trepidation among industry professionals as to whether Millennials will buy homes in the numbers that previous generations have, and it’s reflective of the marketplace. Furthermore, there are questions surrounding the possibility of them using the Internet to purchase their homes, which would cause a major shift in how the real estate industry operates in the U.S. and later in the rest of the world. At the same time, there is also an increased emphasis on the foreign investors who have purchased real estate in the U.S. for years and years – the Japanese in the 1980s, the Russians at the turn of the 21st Century, and the Chinese today. The Chinese, in fact, may be in a much better position to make future purchases online thanks to a recent deal with the most popular real estate auction site in America, Auction.com. The Advancement of Auction.com
Follow this link to read the entire article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/omribarzilay/2015/09/01/will-millennials-buy-their-homes-online-the-chinese-are-already-doing-it/