ReconnectDonate NowLogin

The Automation of the Real Estate Business

by Cris Campbell


It is spring again and this is the peak time to buy or sell a house.  If you have not bought or sold a house in many years, there are several changes in how the market works, and they may surprise you.  As with most aspects of our lives, technology and automation have found their way to the real estate business.


The old method of pursuing a home was to scan the local newspaper real estate section, call a broker, or drive up and down your favorite neighborhood looking for “for sale” signs.  While these methods can still work, technology has drastically changed the process for many transactions.   


If you are selling a house today, a computer can scan all the county data entered by local County Tax Assessor’s and Treasurer’s offices.  Algorithms will be used to determine the homes that mathematically fit your property to the closest possible match. A price is determined based on square footage and, in some cases, the type of neighborhood.  Flyers are produced and emailed to surrounding brokers and others interested in property in that area, and the house appears on various websites.  


What if you are looking to purchase a new home?  Ninety-five percent of all residential property searches now begin online.  When we reference online searches, we are mainly referring to Trulia or Zillow.   Both sites are owned by the same company.  Based on a 2016 survey, of the top 10 websites which control 60% of the real estate market, Zillow and Trulia combined control 36.6% of the nation’s residential listing business.  In the same year, 92% of buyers sought the advice of a real estate agent when looking for a house.  As in most other businesses, technology has drastically changed the real estate market.


Is Now the Time to Buy a Home?


Now might be an excellent opportunity if you want to buy or sell a home.   Real estate has just emerged from of a lull in the market and buyers are ready to pull the trigger on everything from first-time homes to executive homes and vacation homes the whole family can enjoy.  Interest rates remain low, although they could begin to climb at any time.


Dr. Bill Conerly was quoted in Forbes Magazine (Sept 20, 2017) that population gain has historically been one of the largest factors in the housing market and this past year our country saw its lowest population growth in in the past 80 years.   Conerly suggests that while population growth is down, the average number of people per unit also is on a downward trend. This means more millennials and separated couples are claiming independent living.  This is driving up the sales of existing homes.  Therefore, the driving factor in your community might not be an influx of new people, but a redistribution of families.  


According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average price for a home in the United States is $246,800.  That is a national average and reflects a wide range of prices, locations and markets. For example, Texas has some of the fastest growing markets in the nation and it also has some of the slowest growing markets.  Zillow reports the average price home in the state of Texas is $188,000.   


The good news is the NAR has an optimistic view for 2018 housing trends.  It believes, on average across the country, houses will appreciate around 3.2% with mortgages averaging around 4.6%.  Existing home sales will jump with a 2.5% growth as the low inventory issues level out across the country.  Even more optimistic, the NAR predicts new home sales will grow by 7% nationally and home ownership will stabilize around 64%.  This prediction of growth and prosperity is based on the US enticing businesses back within our borders and a new infusion of capital to retool the country.  In fact, the NAR says now is the best time to buy a home while the nation pulls out of a lull in sales and interests rates are still low.

Phone: (580) 327-8593
Fax: (580) 327-8499

Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association
709 Oklahoma Blvd.
Alva, OK 73717

© Copyright 2015 Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy