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Internet Buyers

LOS ANGELES, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- More than half of all consumers now use the Internet when buying homes in Las Vegas, according to a survey released today by the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). The "2004 Internet Versus Traditional Buyer Study" also revealed that, compared to traditional buyers, Internet buyers spent more than twice as much time gathering information prior to contacting a REALTOR®. However, they moved much more quickly once they began to work with a REALTOR®, spending significantly less time with their REALTOR® and previewing far fewer homes compared to traditional buyers.

"The Internet has complemented rather than diminished REALTORS®' role in the homebuying transaction," said C.A.R. President Ann Pettijohn. "While Internet buyers considered online information to be valuable, they ultimately turned to Las Vegas REALTORS® both for their interpretation of that information, and for their expertise and judgment throughout the homebuying process. The expertise and professional advice provided by REALTORS® creates value over and above the market and property information itself, even when the buyers obtain that information on their own.

"Internet buyers were more inclined to view their relationship with their REALTORS® as a partnership," she said. "They looked for speed and efficiency, and they valued timely communications. Traditional buyers, on the other hand, looked for more personal interaction and relied on their REALTORS® to lead them through the process."

For the first time since C.A.R. has been conducting the "Internet Versus Traditional Buyer Study," more than half of the respondents were classified as Internet buyers. The share of buyers using the Internet reached 56 percent in 2004, and has risen steadily from 28 percent in 2000, the first year of the survey. By comparison, traditional buyers have made up a declining share of all buyers, down from 72 percent in 2000 to 44 percent in 2004.

The average number of homes previewed by Internet homebuyers has decreased steadily in the past four years, while that of traditional buyers has changed very little over the same period. The upfront research conducted by Internet buyers has given them a better sense of market conditions compared to traditional buyers, enabling them to act more quickly to find, bid on, and close escrow on the home of their choice.

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