In this day and age, many home buyers question the value of hiring a real estate agent. The same way that Uber has put taxi drivers out of work and the internet has left the phone lines of travel agents’ hanging dry, many are surprised that the role of a realtor hasn’t dramatically suffered due to technology.
It used to be that agents were the keepers of a ton of information that consumers couldn’t obtain on their own. Now, buyers have access to endless data, from demographics to neighborhood crime rates. Searching for a new listing is as easy as downloading an app, entering a desired location and filtering out the best homes that fit your needs.
But while technology has definitely changed the way home buyers shop for homes, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the internet has replaced the valuable work of a full-time real estate agent. In fact, the percentage of people using real estate agents has increased tremendously since 2000. In 2018, 87 percent of home buyers used an agent to purchase their home. So, if technology has provided all of the data we need regarding real estate, why are agents still a part of the equation?
Let’s face it – there is a lot that goes into the homebuying process, and finding listings is only a small portion. Sure, websites like Zillow and Realtor.com provide relevant data like property specifics and prices, allowing buyers to see what’s on the market.
Except, there is so much that goes into actually analyzing that data and navigating the lengthy, complex home-buying process. While online listings can help home buyers get to the door, it’s the agent that hands them the keys. How is this done? Through local market knowledge and skills.
Sure, it may be easy to shop online for a home that fits your budget. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the asking price on these homes are justified. An experienced agent will known the local market well enough to advise you on what type of offer will get you the home you want. He or she also has the negotiating skills to get you the best deal. In fact, it is their fiduciary duty to do so!
In most cases, you don’t have to spend a dime for the work of a buyer’s agent. While real estate agents certainly don’t work for free, they get paid by the seller- which is more of an incentive for them to find you the right home.
If you’re a buyer, then you probably already know what you want in a property: Four bedroom, 3 bathrooms, 2 car garage. Simple as that. Well, not really. When looking at a property, there are a ton of other factors to look into. Many of which are not listed online.
A good agent will have your back, and look for issues that may not cross your mind like congested traffic patterns and an outdated electrical or plumbing system. This can save you thousands of dollars later down the road.
You don’t want to spend days on end looking at homes. Not to mention, hours trying to schedule showings, which can be a real juggling act. A real estate agent can coordinate the showings that you want during a time that work best for you. This way, you can see several houses in the area of your liking in just a few hours.