Online Homebuying Journey: Homebuying Starts Online Is Your Company Ready?

A recent study, conducted by the National Association of REALTORS Research Group that analyzed the generational trends of homebuyers and sellers, revealed that among all generations of homebuyers, the first step taken in the homebuying journey was to look online for available houses. The results show that the internet plays a significant role in the homebuying process for all generations, even buyers who are 73 years and older. Therefore, realtors, lenders, loan officers, and property developers must develop a robust online presence to cater to the demands of homebuyers.

Within this article, I will discuss the prominent role that the internet plays in the homebuying journey. As well as discuss how the NestReady platform, NestFinder, can help your company up their online game to fulfill the needs of homebuyers. 

First Step Taken During the Homebuying Process:

Pie Chart Distribution of Homebuying Steps


The study found that 44 % of all homebuyers looked online as the first step in their buying journey. With 46 % of homebuyers from the age of 29 to 38 using the internet to start their home discovery journey and 31 % of homebuyers from the age of 73 to 93, the significant role of the internet within this process is quite evident amongst all generations. The study clearly shows that homebuyers utilize the internet as a tool to ignite their homebuying journey.

Information Sources Used in Home Search:


Within this study, researchers analyzed the following information sources: online website, real estate agent, mobile search device, open house, yard sign, online video, home builder, newspaper ad, magazine, billboard, relocation company, and television. Of these information sources, 93 % of all homebuyers used an online website to gather data to conduct their home search. Of that 93 %, 98% of homebuyers stated that they used the internet very frequently to search for homes. The study shows that homebuyers use the internet as their primary tool to gather information about homes during the homebuying journey.

Where Homebuyer Found the House They Purchased:

Homebuyers Finding Homes Online: Chart

Along with the majority of homebuyers using the internet to collect information about available properties, the study found that the majority (50 %) of homebuyers found the home that they purchased on the internet. 62% of homebuyers who were 38 and young found their dream home online. Not only is the internet a vital tool to kick start the homebuying journey by providing homebuyers with the necessary information to purchase a home, but it’s also a valuable tool for conversion. 

Actions Taken as a Result of Internet Home Search:


As a result of internet home search, the majority of buyers walked through a home that they discovered online. Similarly, the vast majority of buyers viewed the outside of houses that they found online. Other necessary actions that were taken as a result of home searching via the internet include, but are not limited to: requesting more information about a property, finding an agent, pre-qualifying for a mortgage, and finding a mortgage lender online. This study suggests that the internet plays a massive role in the home buying journey, from home discovery to homeownership.

Value of Website Features:

Several aspects make a website useful to homebuyers. These features include photos (87 % of homebuyers ranked this as very important), detailed information about the property for sale (85 %), floor plans (52 %), virtual tours (46 %), and real estate agent contact information (42 %). These features are essential because they provide homebuyers with the information required to establish interest in a home as well as provide them with the tools to view and potentially buy a home.

How NestFinder Can Help Companies Up Their Online Game:

The study shows that the majority of homebuyers start their home discovery journey on the internet. Homebuyers use the internet to gather information about homes, see what properties are available, apply for a mortgage, and find mortgage lenders and realtors. As a result, realtors, lenders, and loan originators should look for online platforms and tools to help get their brand out there as well as better assist homebuyers during their homebuying journey. 

NestReady offers homebuyers a trusted platform integrated with their lender’s website. Our end-to-end personalized platform makes it easy for your clients to search for homes, get matched with an agent, and receive mortgage and real estate support whenever they need it. Homebuyers using the NestReady platform are empowered by access to insights and information. With the NestFinder platform, homebuyers can choose which neighborhood they would like to find their home in, view pictures and detailed descriptions of homes, and get matched with a real estate agent. The NestFinder platform provides homebuyers with all the necessary information and features that they value in a website.

To learn more about NestReady’s tools, reach out to our team here. You can also follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn for product updates, industry news and more.

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