Love At First Sight

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The Wall Street Journal recently published findings that reveal online users’ first impressions of real estate listings. The data, compiled by the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA provides a breakdown of how 45 home buyers and students looked at 10 different home listings, each containing only six photographs.

enjoying-the-viewResearchers found that 95% of users looked at the first home photo – typically an exterior – the longest, for about 20 seconds. After that, their eyes tended to flit all over the screen, following a Z pattern, beginning in the upper left corner, to the upper right corner, and down the page. 76% of users viewed the property description for location, price, and property value. Eye-tracking technology was used to quantify the results, which is recognized and accepted by the Journal of Real Estate Research.

Overall findings show online viewers spend 60% of their time on photos, 20% on property description, and 20% on the real estate agent’s remarks. Without an eye-catching photo, viewers will pass a great listing by. Experts conclude, it is more important to have photos, property details, and remarks visible on the first page without the need for scrolling than anything else. Understanding how people look at real estate listings can help brokers refine their approach and sell your home.

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