While the usage of the Internet has increased in the search process, it does not diminish the use of the agent, but rather provides a complimentary relationship: home buyers who used the Internet to search are more likely to buy their home through a real estate agent and often take steps to look at a particular property they saw online.
The most difficult part of the search process is finding the right property for the buyer. It is a process that increased in the length of the search from 2008 to 2009 and remains longer in 2010. The typical buyer searches for 12 weeks and views 12 homes during the process.
Buyers find visuals on the Internet particularly useful—pictures of the property, detailed information about the property for sale, and virtual tours all aid buyers. Overall, 91 percent of buyers were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their home buying process.Visuals of the properties for sale are increasingly useful to buyers as more buyers use the Internet in their search process. Eighty-five percent of home buyers found photos very useful on websites. Eighty-three percent of buyers found detailed information about the property very useful
when searching for a home.
The least useful features include information about upcoming open houses or about recently sold properties, however both features were rated more useful in 2010 than in 2009.