Homeowners Admit to ‘Real Estate Stalking’

November 16, 2017

Snooping online proves to be an easier way of finding out what a homeowner paid for a property. A recent poll of more than 500 homeowners found that 52 percent of respondents admit they have spied online to track how much friends and family paid for their houses, according to a poll by Branded Research.

Homeowners say they are simply curious what someone else paid for a property, how much it’s worth currently, and how much is paid in taxes. Many real estate sites offer a place where you can plug in an address to see a home’s worth and often even more information.

“The info is so easy to come by,” Anna Davies, a 33-year-old Jersey City, N.J., resident, told realtor.com® about her real estate stalking habit. “It’s gossipy and it’s definitely something I’ve brought up with other friends: ‘Do you know how much Mary’s parents spent on their new condo?’”

Certain age groups are more likely to snoop than others. Seventy-six percent of survey respondents between the ages of 35 to 44 admitted to checking out their friends’ real estate deals online. Seventy-two percent of respondents ages 25 to 34 admitted to snooping.

The least likely to snoop are homeowners aged 65 and up. Just a quarter of that age group said they checked out what their friends paid online.

Homeowners in the western part of the U.S. are also more likely to snoop on what others paid. Fifty-nine percent of Westerners said they have looked at their friends’ real estate deals. Midwesterners were the least likely to indulge their curiosity.

However, Jodi RR Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting in Boston, told realtor.com® that consumers need to keep their curiosity in check.

“We’re all naturally curious,” Smith says. But just because you can get all this information doesn’t mean you should. You don’t want to be at the next cocktail party and start spouting off what everyone in the room paid for their house.”

Source: “Is It Ok to Real Estate-Stalk Your Friends and Family? A Hot Trend Explained,” realtor.com® (Nov. 15, 2017)