32 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2012 Last revised: 21 Aug 2014
Date Written: March 27, 2012
This paper examines the eye movements of potential homebuyers searching for houses on the Internet. Total dwell time (looking at the photo), fixation duration (time spent at each focal point), and saccade amplitude (average distance between focal points) significantly explain someone’s opinion of a house. The sections that are viewed first are the photo of the house, the description section, distantly followed by the real estate agent’s remarks. The findings indicate that charm pricing, where agents list properties at slightly less than round numbers, works in opposition to its intended effect. Given that people dwell significantly longer on the first house they view, and since charm pricing typically causes a property to appear towards the end of a search when sorted by price from low to high, is charm pricing an effective marketing strategy?
Keywords: ocular tracking, behavioral real estate, charm pricing, buyer search behavior
JEL Classification: R20, R32, A12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Seiler, Michael J. and Madhavan, Poornima and Liechty, Molly, Toward an Understanding of Real Estate Homebuyer Internet Search Behavior: An Application of Ocular Tracking Technology (March 27, 2012). Journal of Real Estate Research, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2029823