New technology and housing market conditions are making people more comfortable with buying a home sight unseen.
A recent Redfin survey found that 33 percent of respondents who bought a home within the last year did so without an in-person visit, up from 19 percent a year ago. Millennials led the charge, as 41 percent of the younger buyers skipped an in-person visit.
It’s not so much that buyers are feeling lucky. The inventory shortage has led to swelling prices and shorter times that homes are on the market, so buyers need to act quicker than ever before. Plus, real estate agencies are beginning to dabble in 3D photography and virtual reality, new technologies that provide a strong sense of what the home looks and feels like.
“Millennials are already starting to set trends in the real estate industry,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “They are three times more likely than Baby Boomers to make an offer sight-unseen, and they’re more likely than older buyers and sellers to negotiate commission savings. Despite their tech-savvy confidence, politics are seeping into Millennials’ decisions about where to live; nearly half cited hesitations about moving to a place where their neighbors wouldn’t share their views.”