Are you one of those people who religiously crawl through all the real estate listings online every day? Do you subscribe to property alerts by email or SMS so you don’t miss out on that new listing? Do you attend Open Inspections and Auctions every weekend?
A property is usually the single largest investment a person makes. Hence it is perfectly understandable that one would want to do as much research as possible and to get educated. This Fear of Missing Out – also known as the FOMO phenomenon, is driven by the fear that something better may be out there.
A new research study shows that FOMO is reaching epic proportions among Aussie property seekers. Consumer behaviour expert Dr. Chris Hodkinson says:
“A level of FOMO is expected when it comes to home buying as it is one of the biggest financial investment decisions many people ever have to make. However, FOMO can cause excessive worry with some home buyers simply unable to make a decision and others spending all their leisure time frantically searching for a property. FOMO often makes it hard for people to accomplish what they set out to achieve.”
A study conducted by Lonergan Research which surveyed 1,032 Australians who are either currently actively looking to buy property, or who have recently purchased property indicated that 87% of homebuyers are driven to look at numerous properties because they fear missing out on what could be their dream home.
An online survey of 1,200 respondents conducted by realestate.com.au between 5-9 October 2009 showed 92% of property seekers spend over one day per month (up to 25 hours) researching potential homes online.
The rise of the FOMO factor, however, means that homebuyers spend an excessive amount of time researching and become overwhelmed by choice. They fear making a big mistake. In many instances, people have simply become paralysed by FOMO and are unable to analyse all the information they have gathered in a clear and decisive manner.
Many of our clients engage our services after looking on their own for a long while – some have been house hunting for up to two years! They come to us frustrated, tired of the drawn-out process and sometimes filled with regret at missed opportunities. This is especially so in an upward swinging market where a missed purchase opportunity can be costly.
As Buyers’ Agents, we are property buying professionals. While an online survey of 1,200 respondents conducted by realestate.com.au revealed more than 80% of Australians visit up to four properties a week, our agents can easily inspect ten times as many properties within the same time frame. What this means is that we condense the search process for our clients. Our ability to search the market thoroughly (beyond just online listings) and quickly enable our clients to feel at ease that (1) they are buying the right property; and (2) they are paying a fair price for it.
In addition, because our agents have inspected thousands of properties, our clients can be assured that we know the state of the market at any given point in time and can help to eliminate the FOMO factor. We call this “Smart buying. Made easy.”
About Oliver Stier
Oliver J. Stier is the Director of OH Property Group, a leading Sydney buyers agency. He studied Quantitative Economics and Finance at Cambridge University (UK), University of Toronto (Canada) and Princeton University (USA). In addition to being a licensed real estate agent, Oliver also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.