With the emergence of the internet and search technology, is a real estate agent really necessary in today’s world of buying and selling homes? What do you think? Are agents going the way of the dinosaurs?
Ouch! That hits close to home. However, it is a great question and one that has been asked frequently for the last decade or so. The role of a real estate agent in today’s information age has evolved.
The same question has also been asked about stock brokers, accountants and even physicians. Has the internet and search technology freed or burdened people in today’s world? Probably both. It has freed us from being totally dependent on the experts and professionals. There is a wonderful transparency to the world now. The internet is the great equalizer. That’s a good thing. It has also burdened us with doing our own research and striving to make educated and informed decisions. That’s not so good. How many hours do you have in your day? Yeah, me too.
Would you represent yourself in court? All the information is available. What risk could there be? Why go to a doctor anymore? WebMD will diagnose your symptoms. You can buy your meds online. You could learn to set your own broken arm.
Perhaps I exaggerate.
There has been an exponential growth in the complexity of real estate transactions. Real estate agents today are professionals who study and research the market, economic trends and local political conditions. That’s why sophisticated buyers, sellers and investors utilize a real estate agent. Agents have had to keep current with the fast paced internet environment. Clients today want instant answers and responses.
For most people a real estate transaction is infrequent, emotional and complicated. Most importantly agents are your human contact and transaction coordinators in the impersonal world of real estate. Real estate agents are also your arms, legs and voice. They are on the phone, showing properties and making sure all details are correct. In short, agents are your advocates and will diligently work to solve problems. No app can replace that.
Technological advances are a boon to the world of real estate. As I mentioned there is transparency. The agent gains your trust by being forthright, honest and working hard. It also helps that now you are able to verify what you are being told.
The internet has brought down transactional costs in real estate. Today’s agents embrace that development. Research is now done online. Transactions are increasingly done electronically.
So to answer to your question, yes, real estate agents continue to perform a valuable role in real estate transactions. We are here to serve and we’re here to stay.