The days of walking into a real estate brokers office to look at a book of listings is long over as a recent report estimates that 88% of home buyers use the internet to research homes, find realtors and even make offers.

The results of a 2011 NAR survey show that consumers are using the internet to shop for a home before contacting a realtor.  This is good news for the agent that holds the listings, but may leave other realtors out in the cold.  Buyers are demanding the convenience of on-line shopping to work with their busy schedules of work and family.  Many real estate professionals are scrambling to accommodate the change.

Savvy home buyers are using the internet to investigate financing options, neighborhood characteristics, and to preview properties.  Many buyers are choosing to contact a realtor, only after they have narrowed their search down to a specific property.  Because the internet is also a showcase for how realtors are marketing themselves, there is an increased priority on getting visitors to realtor web sites.  Realtors rely on web site traffic to generate leads for new buyers and sellers.  In the past, these clients might have stopped into a neighborhood real estate office to speak with an agent.