First impressions count in online real estate listings, study finds

Ever wonder what first catches the eye of potential homebuyers when they look at your online real estate listings?

In “20 Seconds for Love at First Sight,” the Wall Street Journal reports that nearly all, more than 95 percent of users, will first look at the exterior photo of the home for about 20 seconds before their eyes move to other parts of the listing, researchers with the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate at Old Dominion University have found.

Consumer viewing patterns usually follow a “Z” pattern, starting at the exterior photo of the home at the top left of the screen, before moving to the property description in the upper right corner and finally dropping to the bottom of the page.

Including good, eye-catching photos can make the difference in grabbing and keeping a consumer’s interest in the property, according to Professor Michael Seiler.

Overall, when viewing an online real-estate listing, home buyers spend about 60% of their time on photos, 20% on the property description and 20% on the real-estate agents’ remarks section, Seiler told the Wall Street Journal.

Read the full article for more details.

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About Stephanie Sievers

Stephanie Sievers is Associate Editor for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. She serves as Associate Editor for IAR publications including the Illinois REALTOR® magazine and all other IAR publications. She is responsible for developing content for the Illinois REALTOR® Weekly Connection e-newsletter, coordinates the IAR Twitter account content at ILREALTOR and plans and develops content for videos. She assists in developing and writing content for the IAR blog. She also is involved in researching and drafting news releases and coordinates the news media distribution database and newsclips reports for the Association. She also assists in IAR spokesperson training seminars and is involved in development of association briefing materials on issues. She assists with the housing statistics program and reports.