Average homebuyer spends 124 hours searching for a home

By Steve Randall

Buying a home may be the most important purchase any of us will ever make but that doesn’t mean everyone commits the same time to viewings.

While the largest share of homebuyers across North America spent between 61 and 120 minutes in the home they bought, 5% of buyers were convinced in 15 minutes or less.

The survey from Vancouver-based real estate listings site Zolo.ca reveals that the average buyer spends 124 hours searching for their home. This includes 32 hours online, 27 hours driving around, 19 hours with real estate experts, and 25 hours inside homes.

The average buyer also loses 21 hours of sleep during the homebuying process!

1 in 10 only visited once
Zolo found that 30% of buyers – the largest single share - visited the home they bought 3 times before purchasing, while 10% only visited once and 9% visited 5 times.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger buyers are most likely to take multiple visits to a home they are thinking of buying:

  • Buyers aged 21 to 29, saw a place 3 to 4 times before putting in an offer
  • Buyers aged 30 to 39 saw a place only twice before putting in an offer
  • 1% of respondents bought a home sight unseen — (using online listings and photos)

The survey also reveals what buyers ended up buying after all those hours of research and home visits.

More than half (52%) bought a single-family detached home, 8% bought a semi-detached, 11% bought a townhouse, and 8% bought a condo-apartment.

The remaining buyers bought either a row-house (1%), cottage/vacation property (4%), or investment property with multiple units (4 units or less - 10%; 5 units or more - 6%).

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