The question was recently put forward on an internet Real Estate forum that I participate in and it was interesting enough to cause me stop and write an entire blog about it. The question was “With the internet making it so easily available for people to view homes, understand pricing and secure mortgage loans, how vital is the role of the Real Estate Agent?” It was never made clear if the questioner was advocating for or against Real Estate Agents. Here is my answer to this particular query.
Sellers can market their homes on the internet at for sale by owner sites by the dozens, all featuring super simple user-friendly applications to upload pictures, describe the home, set the price and arrange showings for buyers. Buyers can quickly scan hundreds or even thousands of homes matching their predetermined search parameters sitting comfy in their own space with no pressure applied. That may leave the illusion that no outside party bringing these two together still exists. I disagree.
I say the Real Estate Agent remains an essential bridge between Buyer and Seller. Although there are deals that are executed successfully without a Buyer or Seller agent involved, they remain fairly few and far between. The Agent continues to be a vital part of the Real Estate equation if for no other reason than as client advocates for both sellers and buyers. Real Estate tends to be an emotional purchase rather than a coldly calculated investment decision for most people. And they need someone who can step away from the emotions to represent their best interests, sometimes, in spite of themselves! This is not a building, this is a home, the place they will live their lives in and around for the majority of that life.
Sure, people can go online and look at houses, they can read contracts and figure out what to do about them, but they are hard put to be objective about such a personal purchase that so thoroughly engages their emotions and their money!
Internet and ever more advanced technology may change the landscape but the truth remains that in the search for a home people have much more at stake than simply money, though a home purchase continues to be the largest purchase most of us will ever make in our lifetimes. Once the heart is engaged we lose a lot of our perspective and our Agent helps us maintain that perspective even after we’ve fallen head over heals in love with the structure we decide to call home that we are convinced will afford us the LIFESTYLE we are seeking to live. Not to mention the knowledge, ability and resources the Agent has developed over the years for all those peripheral items like Home Inspections, Loans, Appraisals and the like.
Once our hearts have fallen in love it’s a wonderful thing to have an objective person there to work out all the details on our behalf. Remember how important the “go between” was in our grade school romances? This operates on that same level. Not everyone keeps a clear head once the heart is engaged.
What do YOU have to say about that? Share this with others and keep the conversation going. Thanks.
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