How much time does it really take to search for your next home?

(BPT) - This year has been challenging for first-time homebuyers, and a new survey reveals the time, effort and money they've invested throughout their home-buying process. This new data from digital real estate platform Opendoor revealed that an overwhelming 79% of first-time homebuyers who missed work while immersed in the homebuying process had to take off an average of 14 hours — equal to nearly two full workdays. The average spikes to 19 hours among those homebuyers who purchased a new home over the past month — which equates to over $845 million worth of work time missed while looking for a home. This is one of the main reasons homebuyers are seeking to gain more control of the homebuying process by using online real estate services such as Opendoor.

Nationwide, about 3 out of 5 first-time homebuyers found the real estate market to be more competitive than they expected, and over half felt that the entire process was much more time-consuming than anticipated. Why is the process of searching for and nailing down that new home so time-consuming? The survey offers some insights into the challenges of the process.

Searching

Since the pandemic began, much of the initial home searching and touring of homes has gone virtual. While you might think that would save time normally spent driving around to view homes, the search is still extremely time-consuming — especially because current home inventories are much lower than the demand. The study found that the average first-time homebuyer toured 15 homes virtually or in person — and 33% of them toured 20 or more homes throughout the process.

Making an offer

Here’s where most of the survey respondents found a surprising amount of time went — and where most of the stress originated. In fact, 85% of first-time buyers cited offer-related challenges as the toughest part of the entire homebuying process.

Here’s a look at some of the reasons why:

  • Almost all first-time homebuyers — a whopping 98% — said they lost at least one home they were interested in before buying their current home.
  • Nearly 3 in 5 (56%) made more than 5 offers on homes before purchasing their current home, averaging 10 offers apiece.
  • 40% said that the stress of waiting for an offer was the most difficult part of the process.
  • 39% were challenged to come up with money for a down payment.
  • 37% struggled with being outbid by another homebuyer.

And interestingly, another source of stress was due to the inexperience of these homebuyers, as 33% noted they were unsure how much to offer. For new homebuyers, some of this stress can be reduced by using a virtual platform such as Opendoor, which provides support from industry experts to help you make decisions every step of the way.

Starting over

Homebuyers who had multiple offers rejected by sellers may have felt like they were caught in an endless cycle, having to start from the beginning each time. As a result, more time was wasted as frustrated homebuyers vainly searched for new inventory to appear: Over half (52%) checked for new listings once a day or more — with the average being seven times a day.

Hindsight is 20/20

What did homebuyers learn as a result of going through this difficult challenge? Most first-time homebuyers (92%) say they would do something differently if they were in the market for a new home as a result of their experience.

  • 33% said they would bring family or friends along to tour homes in the future, to serve as an extra set of eyes.
  • 35% wished they had done more research.
  • 37% said they would get a home inspection next time.

Finding an alternative to the traditional homebuying process

To make the home-buying process less difficult as well as less time-consuming, digital real estate platforms like Opendoor are offering an attractive alternative to the traditional way of buying and selling your home. Opendoor is a one-stop shop that gives people a simple and convenient way to buy, sell and move.

Whether you're buying or selling a home (or both), learn how you can take more control of the process at Opendoor.com.

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