Forget the Newspaper – Buyers Use the Internet to Search For Real Estate Listings

As a home seller, are you still convinced a newspaper ad will help to sell your home?Welcome to

The National Association of REALTORS® or, NAR for short, is the American version of our Canadian Real Estate Association.  Each year, they conduct a survey to develop of profile on home buyers and sellers.  While the participants are in the U.S., the findings generally mirror our Canadian experience at least in regard to consumer behaviours.

For 2009, NAR surveyed over 9000 people who sold or purchased a home between July 2008 and June 2009.  The surveys were sent to random buyers and sellers based on deed transfers and other public records.  Here are some of the highlights:

••         90% of all buyers used the internet to search.
••         84% of buyers reported the photos to be the most useful information.
••         The number one action taken after viewing a home online was to drive by or visit the home.
••         66% of buyers reported that they used a print ad to search, but between 84% to 90% (depending on the print medium) reported that those sources were “not useful”.
••         36% of buyers found the home they purchased through an agent, 36% found the home they purchased online, less than 3% found the home they purchased in a print ad.
••         77% of buyers purchased their home with an agent.
••         85% of sellers sold their home with an agent.
••         87% of buyers viewed real estate as a good investment.

Real estate buyers today heavily use the internet in their property searches and in my own experience, that number must be getting very close to 100% by now.  We rarely get traditional “ad calls” from print media anymore yet, we get several enquiries a day from online advertising.  So why is the real estate industry still using print media so heavily?  Why do sellers still demand advertising in the newspaper when it doesn’t work?  I guess old habits die hard. 

Personally, I have chosen to invest more heavily in internet marketing and only use print media occasionally for presence and branding periodically.  Considering that over 90% of my listings sold this year (compared to under 35% on average in the area), I’m confident in which approach works best.

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About Marg

is an award-winning real estate Broker who has successfully been helping people move since 1989. When it’s time for a move in or out of a bigger, smaller, better, more expensive, less expensive, newer, older, house, condo, farm, investment property, vacant lot or business, talk to Marg.

This entry was posted by Marg on Monday, January 11th, 2010 at 1:15 pm and is filed under Buying Real Estate, Selling Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Comment

  1. Hi Marg,

    Most definitely the trend in Oakville, Burlington and GTA as well. As usual, you are a pioneer and out of the box thinker. All the best for 2010.

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