They might do their research online and also believe that data and machine learning will have an important influence on the real estate experience, but when it comes to the process of searching for a home, millennials and baby boomers lean more on their agent than digital platforms. This, according to a survey on homebuyer behavior by Owners.com that studied that homebuying patterns of over 1,000 buyers across different age-groups.
The survey revealed that 82 percent of the buyers said that online access to data-focused property information was essential to their decision-making process. But that was the only aspect that all the three generations—baby boomers, Gen X, and millennials—agreed upon. The survey highlighted vast differences in the way these generations manage their homebuying budgets and work with real estate agents.
For instance, Gen Xers were the most hands-on when looking for a home. The survey found that they were likely to do their own research online to make decisions before initiating the next step with their agent. In fact, 62 percent of Gen Xers agreed to do their own research followed by 59 percent baby boomers and 48 percent millennials. Gen Xers also suffered from trust issues with their real estate agents with only 29 percent of this generation saying they trusted their agents to do the legwork, compared with 33 percent millennials and 36 percent of the baby boomer generation.
When it came to budgets, the survey found that millennials were more likely to stray from their budget while buying a home. Forty percent millennials said they went over budget by an average of $24,545 while buying a home; 34 percent of the Gen Xers also went over budget paying around $13,996 more than the price they had in mind while buying a home. Baby boomers were sticklers when it came to the budget of their new home with only 19 percent going over budget and that too by $8,024 on average.
The real surprise came when the three generations were asked about their go-to resource when searching for a home. Gen Xers leaned more towards online data and platforms to facilitate their search with 50 percent of this generation using these platforms, whereas 41 percent baby boomers and 38 percent millennials used online data and platforms for their search.
While millennials were more likely to rely on their family and friends as a resource, they also relied on their agent the most during their home search. The survey found that 54 percent of baby boomers and 47 percent of millennials relied on their agent the most during their home search compared to only 42 percent Gen Xers who said they relied on their agent.