Welcome Home survey reveals 34 percent of homebuyers choose based on location

By Todd Umbenhauer | Feb. 20, 2018 | 3 min. read

The new quarterly Welcome Home survey was just released and it’s full of great information for Realtors®. I’m always looking for insights about our real estate clients and how to offer them amazing customer service. We recently added a few new questions to learn more about what our clients are feeling about the transaction. PAR introduced the Welcome Home survey about four years ago and we’ve seen some interesting trends – some were traditional and some were unexpected.

I think most surprising in this survey is that half of new Pennsylvania homebuyers found their homes in less than three months. And 75 percent reported the process took less than six months from the time they began searching for a home until the transaction closed.

Interestingly, buyers over the age of 65 were more likely to report taking less than three months to buy their home than buyers under 65. In fact, 60 percent of them reported needing less than three months to close on their home, including 25 percent who said their purchase was settled in less than a month. If only all transactions could be that quick and easy for all of our buyers!

The challenging inventory is creating some pressure on buyers to make an offer on a home more quickly and to make higher offers than they might have liked to ensure they get the home they want. As the year progresses, we’ll see how the trends change.

Not too surprising in the survey – location is a key factor for many homebuyers. Thirty-four percent of new homebuyers chose their home because of location, whether that was what they deemed a “good neighborhood,” proximity to schools, or easy travel to work. This was by far more important to buyers than a home’s specific features like the yard, garage or financial considerations like price. New homebuyers with children were more likely (39 percent) than those without children (30 percent) to say that location was the most important factor.

Again, buyers over 65 have different priorities. While location is still important, they also focused more on the interior features of a home and were driven by considerations like finding a home with one floor or a master bedroom on the ground floor.

I think these results show just how important our first meetings with clients are to understand exactly what is motivating them to buy and what their priorities are. In-depth questions and their responses will help us provide the best buying experience for our clients.

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