ATLANTA, March 31, 2016 – A survey of 1,000 potential home buyers by® s ahead of the spring real estate season found 80% were confident that the 2016 home buying environment will be as good as or better than it was five years ago, the company, an online brokerage that matches buyers and sellers and portends to lower the cost of commissions.

According to the survey, 92% of respondents said mortgage interest rates are “somewhat to very important” to the decision on when to buy. 69% gave themselves an “A” or “B” in understanding the home buying process, suggesting confidence in their ability to self-navigate the real estate market.

“Consumers are heading into the spring home buying season with a positive outlook, according to our findings,” said Steve Udelson, President of “Home buyers also indicate a willingness to go online and handle more elements of the real estate process themselves in order to save time and money – a trend we expect to continue this year and beyond.”

Among other findings, said consumers are now more inclined than ever to use technology to facilitate key parts of the real estate transaction. 73% said they'd use online sites to search for properties, more than half (53%) are inclined to book home tours online, 43% would consider online financing products and 27% would make a purchase offer online.

Regarding the home specifically, 29% said they want a fully equipped smart kitchen, with 19% wanting a spa bathroom. Respondents cited upgrading to a better home (33%), wanting to invest in real estate (25%) or relocating to a new area (24%) as the reason for their interest in a home purchase this year.

The Consumer Real Estate Index was conducted online among a random sample of 1,000 consumers who are likely home buyers in 2016. Fieldwork was conducted by independent research firm Market Intel Group between January 4, 2016, and January 9, 2016. The margin of error associated with the sample of n=1,000 is +/- 3.1 percent at a 95% confidence level.