Millennials love to conduct many aspects of their lives online, but a new survey says that’s not always true when it comes to real estate dealings.
Seventy-five percent of millennials recently surveyed by financial wellness website CentSai say they prefer the help of a local real estate agent than an online agent. Seventy-one percent would also prefer to work with a local mortgage lender. They cited more desire for face-to-face collaboration, associating it with greater “handholding,” “local knowledge,” “longstanding relationships,” and “personal touch.” CentSai surveyed more than 2,000 Americans aged 18 to 34.
“We were surprised to learn that online providers are not yet as big a disruptor in this sector as we first thought, despite purported cost savings,” says Doria Lavagnino, cofounder and president of CentSai. “We found that millennials place a high value on the personal touch and knowledge of a local agent. Buying a home for the first time is daunting, and working with a local agent—particularly an agent referred by a parent or friend—could provide peace of mind.”
That said, the internet is still a crucial element in the homebuying process for millennials. Ninety-five percent of home buyers look for prospective homes and neighborhoods online, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’s research.