2013 Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers: Technology Trends

The 2013 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was released on November 4, and as it does each year the report examined the demographics, preferences, motivations, plans, and experiences of recent buyers and sellers.

One recent trend discussed is how much consumers now embrace technology during the home search process. Did you know that…

  • Fifty-six percent of buyers start their home search online, 43 percent found the home they ultimately purchased online (edging out all other sources), and 92 percent used the internet at some point during their search process.
  • Forty-five percent of recent buyers used a mobile or tablet website or application during their home search and among those who did 22 percent found the home they purchased online.

Here are a few charts from the Profile that highlight the growth in technology usage over the years:

T.J. Doyle, Director of Research Marketing and Communications

TJ Doyle, Marketing and Communications Manager, works on marketing the products and services the Research Division produces to members and non-members alike. TJ oversees Research’s social media presence, focused on promoting NAR Research to members, the media, government affairs and other industry groups.

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  1. It would be great to go further and answer which websites the buyers are using for their mobile devices. Which ones are the most popular and which ones are the most user friendly.

  2. That information already exists. is the clear leader and no one else is even close… yet. I read a great commentary that within 5-10 years Google, Yahoo, Zillow, Trulia and the like will be dominating all real estate transactions and real estate agents will be working for them… bye, bye big box brokerages.

  3. George Morris

    I agree with Julie Lyda’s comments…WHAT websites drive the MOST business (e.g., Zillow, Trulia,, etc.)

  4. Out of all the people that found their new home on line, I wonder how many used a Realtor to write the offer and negotiate on their behalf? They may have gone straight to the listing agent assuming it was listed with a Realtor. It is easy to find a home on line but not so easy to write and negotiate on your own behalf.

    I would think most people would do a Google search to find a home.

  5. To determine which of the 3 major websites drive the most income and profits to the agents, a major survey would have to be constructed, however, the margin of error could be great, as many agents do not track their data. As far as traffic is concerned, Zillow is at the top, Trulia, then

    Other than web traffic I have yet to see each portal make the following statement: “We have generated $5 M in commission to our agents subscribers” and the reason is that these companies are only as good as the agents behind them… No one can control the conversion skill of an agent. These companies are just “conversations” vehicles or just responsible for “filing the tank with gas .” It is the agents job to get the client to their destination.

  6. It seems like in the first graph the colors should be switched and people would be increasing the frequency that they are online searching for homes not decreasing.

  7. T.J. Doyle, Marketing & Communications Manager

    Paul, you are correct, and the updated chart is now embedded in the post.

  8. I’m surprised so many people are using mobile devices to search for homes… for such a big investment I use my desktop so I can take notes, bookmark, see photos at large resolutions, etc. Maybe I just consider mobile searches to be for less serious things – I only use my phone for spontaneous searches or when looking for recipes. Clearly I need to change the way I think about mobile devices. Are there mobile apps for home listings?