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How Technology Is Transforming Today's Real Estate Market

posted on Friday, June 26, 2020 in Realtor News

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have posed unforeseen challenges on the quest for home ownership, but digital solutions are coming to the rescue.

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Online House Hunting 

  • Page views of homes for sales on Zillow: up 18% YOY week ending April 15- Following a 19% decline YOY decline mid-March

Pre-Recorded Virtual Tours

  • Consumers say virtual tours are the most helpful tech feature in the home search2
  • 24% of homebuyers would buy a home without seeing it2  - Higher among buyers ages 18 - 34 (31.3%)

Live Video Tours

  • Requests for agent-led video home tours on Redfin: up 494% week ending March 223

3-D Walk-Throughs

  • Creating of 3D walk-throughs on Zillow nearly doubled in March4 
  • About 25% of recent buyers prefer 3D tours to in-person viewing4

Livestream and Virtual Open Houses

  • Brokerages and listing sites are adopting live stream open houses
  • 22% of REALTORS® have had sellers switch to virtual open houses5

30% of REALTORS® say they can complete a transaction while social distancing.5

Most popular tech used to connect with clients:5

  • E-signatures
  • Social Media
  • Messaging Apps
  • Virtual Tours

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Appraisal and Inspection Alternatives 

  • Fannie and Freddie temporarily accepting desktop appraisals
  • Home inspections being conducted via video conference 

Remote Online Notarizations (RON)

  • 45 states allowing RON6* either permanently or temporarily as of May 1, 2020


  • Electronic promissory notes hit all-time high in March 20207 (24,519 e-notes registered with MERS)
  • Borrower demand for a digital mortgage process was up 18% B.C. (before Coronavirus) 8
  • 47% of borrowers want to upload documents electronically in the mortgage process8

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There's no telling when or if things will return to "normal," but one thing is clear: Technology has the power to redefine the way we buy and sell real estate.

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*State RON rules may fluctuate and should be reviewed often.
[1]  Zillow, "Web Visits to For-Sale Listings Rebounding as Spring Unfolds," April 2020.
[2]® Survey, April 2020.
[3]  Redfin, "Video Home Tour Requests Soar Nearly 500% in One Week," March 2020.
[4]  Zillow, "Creation of 3D Home Tours Soared in March as Stay-at-Home Orders Expanded," April 2020.
[5]  National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Flash Survey: Economic Pulse, April 26-27, 2020.
[6]  National Notary Association, "States Take Emergency Action On Remote Notarization And Signers' ID."
[7]  National Mortgage News, Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS).
[8]  Ellie Mae®, 2019 Borrower Insights Survey.

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