Real estate professionals might be forgiven for thinking the coronavirus pandemic would hit their businesses hard, but instead, it seems that consumers are more than willing to embrace online listings, detailed photos and virtual tours of the homes they’re interested in.
In fact, many are quite willing to put down an offer on a home, even without seeing it in-person, according to a new survey by Toluna Insights and realtor.com.
The survey found that 24% of 1,300 consumers indicated they’d be willing to buy a home without seeing it in-person, while 30% would be willing to rent one. The most comfortable demographic in this regard is younger people, with 29% of this age group willing to buy a home following just a virtual tour.
The survey follows on the heels of findings last week by the National Association of Realtors. It found that a quarter of Realtors and their clients have put a contract on a home without physically seeing the property.
“Uncertainty around COVID-19 and limitations around social interactions and group gatherings, like open houses, have made buying and selling homes more difficult than ever,” said Nate Johnson, chief marketing officer at realtor.com. “As real estate agents and consumers seek out ways to safely complete these transactions, we believe that technology will become an even more imperative part of how we search for, buy, and sell homes moving forward.”
Still, not everyone is happy to make do with a virtual tour. Some 47% of respondents said they would still prefer to see a listing in-person before making an offer on a home. However, many are willing to adapt while social distancing guidelines are in place. According to the survey, 23% of people in that group said they would prefer to view the property alone, while 13% chose an online video tour, and 6% said they’d like an agent to show them around via video chat.