Buyers May Need 124 Hours to Decide on a Home

June 10, 2019

Home buyers are taking a longer time to find a home to purchase—and may view the property they want more than once before deciding to make an offer. Nearly 2,000 recent home buyers say they spent an average of 124 hours, or over about 10 days, searching for a home, according to a survey from Canadian real estate firm Zolo. One of their biggest regrets is that they wish they would have spent even more time viewing homes, the survey shows.

But sellers can take heart: The more the same buyer visits a home, the better the prospect is for a sale. Only 10% of buyers say they viewed a home just once before submitting an offer, 23% viewed twice, 31% viewed three times, and 20% viewed four times, the survey shows.

Younger buyers tend to spend more time viewing a property before purchasing than older buyers, according to the survey. Buyers ages 21 to 29 preferred to see a property three to four times before putting in an offer. Buyers ages 30 to 39 viewed a property twice, on average, before submitting an offer. Further, buyers viewed an average of 19 homes before putting in an offer.

Once a buyer finds the property they want, they don’t linger after their final visit. A quarter of home buyers spent between 46 minutes and 60 minutes in a home before making an offer. Another 28% spent a maximum of two hours in a home before making an offer. Seventy-one percent would make an offer within 24 hours of viewing.

If the buyers could do it all over again, more than a quarter—28%—say they would “spend more time during the viewing” phase before they bought a home. Also, 27% say they would “take friends or family to help with the viewing process,” and 21% would view even more homes next time. Twenty percent also say they’d get a home inspection before making an offer, and 20% would book more viewings of the home they’re interested in purchasing.

“A buyer can certainly move quicker but still complete their due diligence,” says Mustafa Abbasi, president of Zolo. “For example, buyers can get their financing in order, they can keep separate accounts for closing costs, and have their real estate experts, such as home inspectors, ready to go.”