Most “Gen X” and “Gen Y” homebuyers are using mobile devices when they search for homes, but when it comes to choosing an agent, buyers of all ages are much more likely to rely on referrals from a friend, relative or neighbor than to end up with an agent they find online.
That’s according to an annual survey by the National Association of Realtors, which found that among buyers 59 and older, 20 percent or less searched for a home via a mobile site or app.
Among homebuyers 33 and younger — a group that’s known as “millennials” or “Gen Y” — 58 percent used a mobile website or application to search for a home. For “Gen X” buyers 34 to 48, the figure is 53 percent.
Of the Gen X and Gen Y homebuyers who used a mobile site or app to search for a home, 22 percent and 26 percent, respectively, found their home with a mobile app. By contrast, only 4 percent of all buyers who used mobile search found their agent with a mobile app.
Buyers of all ages were most likely to find their agent through a referral from a friend, relative or neighbor. More than half of millennials, 52 percent, found their agent that way, while older buyers were more likely than millennials to use an agent they had used previously to buy or sell a home.
Only 9 percent of all buyers found their agent through an online website. The “Silent Generation,” those 68 to 88, were the least likely to find their agent online (6 percent), and were more likely than younger age groups to find an agent through a for sale or open house sign or through a personal contact from the agent via phone or email.