(Family Features) Deciding to buy or sell a home is among the most important choices many people make in their lifetimes. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a great deal about personal real estate transactions and, as with many aspects of daily life, it is an increasingly digital process.
In fact, the pandemic is shifting how people approach real estate on a broader scale, from the timing of their moves and where they want to live to the amenities they require and how they go about finding the perfect house.
Consider these findings from a survey conducted by Opendoor among more than 1,200 people who plan to buy or sell a home in the next 12 months.
More than one-third of home buyers will adapt their moving timeline based on the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the survey.
Lifestyle is another major consideration for those considering a move in the coming year. Across Millennials and Generation X, the most frequently cited reason for buying a new home was lifestyle changes caused by COVID-19, even more so than traditional reasons such as getting married or having a baby. About one-third of buyers said the pandemic has influenced where they’ll choose to live with 35% of Millennials reporting plans to move to large cities but 33% of Baby Boomers preferring the suburbs.
The amenities people want in their homes have shifted as a result of COVID-19 too, with home offices, kitchens and outdoor entertaining spaces all increasing in importance. This change in preferences was especially pronounced in Millennials.
Since the pandemic hit, digital solutions have answered all kinds of needs and real estate is no exception. As many as 75% of home buyers report they would be likely to consider buying a home through a company that allows them to control more of the process with digital tools.
It’s not just home buyers who are changing things up; sellers are also eager for new digital options, too. More than 70% of sellers said they were likely to consider selling their homes to a company that uses technology to make an instant offer.
Among the benefits of going digital to buy or sell real estate is the reduced risk from social interaction. Taking the process online eliminates concerns buyers may have about visiting multiple unfamiliar homes in the quest for the right fit, just as many who are selling are cautious about having friends and family over, much less potential buyers they’ve never met.
However, pandemic aside, there are other advantages to digital real estate transactions, including the ability to bypass the headaches and uncertainty that come with prepping, marketing, listing and selling a home. Selling to an iBuyer like Opendoor gives homeowners an all-cash offer so they can move quickly, easily and with certainty.
Sellers have the flexibility to choose their closing dates and avoid extra costs and headaches like double mortgages if the first home doesn’t sell before the new home closes. Buyers can tour homes on their own schedules and bypass stressful bidding wars with competitive cash offers. The process is entirely online and contact-free, from offer to virtual inspection and closing, which means extra safety in today’s environment. Cash-backed offers from Opendoor make being an all-cash buyer more accessible, enabling customers to compete easier in hot markets.