1 in 3 homebuyers now makes offers sight unseen

As featured in WTOP

WASHINGTON — The housing market has come to this: buyers are willing to get a jump on the competition by making an offer based on just the pictures they see.

Real estate listing firm Redfin said 33 percent of people who bought a home in the last year made an offer without first seeing the property in person. First-time buyers are even more likely to take the leap of faith. Redfin said among recent millennial homebuyers, 41 percent made sight-unseen offers.

“Millennials are already starting to set trends in the real estate industry,” said Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson.

“They are three times more likely than baby boomers to make an offer sight unseen, and they’re more likely than older buyers and sellers to negotiate commission savings,” she said.

The Redfin survey of about 3,400 recent homebuyers and sellers also found affordable housing was the most prevalent economic concern, cited by 40 percent of buyers.

Rising prices are now causing 21 percent to start looking in other metro areas where homes cost less, according to the survey.

Rising mortgage rates don’t seem to be much of a concern — just 5 percent said they’d cancel their plans to buy if rates surpass 5 percent.

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