LOS ANGELES – Consumers who use the Internet as an integral part of their home-buying process are not only doing so to save time, but are willing to pay higher prices for their new abodes. According to the “Internet Versus Traditional Buyers Survey” conducted by the California Association of Realtors, traditional buyers fell from 72% in 2000, to 55% in 2003, while Internet homebuyers increased from 28% to 45%. The 2003 survey showed the median prices of homes for Internet buyers was $462,200, nearly a third more than the $350,000 median price of homes purchased by traditional buyers. There were also noticeable demographic disparities between the two groups of homebuyers. For example, Internet buyers with a median age of 38 years, were in general, younger than traditional buyers – median age 44 years. In addition the median household income of Internet buyers exceeded that of traditional buyers – $168,700 compared to $136,400. Internet households also differed from traditional households in terms of which household member took the lead in the home buying process. For example, nearly 90% of traditional buyers reported that the female head of household took the lead in initiating the home buying process. Internet buyers reported that the male head of household took the lead 81% of the time. The Internet has also affected the home-buying process itself, the study’s finding showed. Internet buyers spent an average of 4.4 weeks investigating homes on their own before contacting a real estate agent. In comparison, traditional homebuyers spent on average 1.7 weeks.. Once they began working with an agent, Internet buyers took only two weeks to find the home they wanted, compared to 6.7 weeks for traditional buyers. Internet homebuyers also looked at half as many homes – 7.1 – as did traditional buyers – 15.2 homes.

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