From browsing hundreds of homes with the click of a button to never leaving your bed to sign your offer, technology has inevitably changed almost every aspect of the real estate market. Many predicted the surge in advanced technology would essentially make real estate agents obsolete, but now more than ever having an agent to represent you is of dire necessity. The Internet has caused a major paradigm shift on how the real estate market conducts business and it is our job as agents to navigate you through the shift.
With the Internet at your fingertips, and sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, buyers can quickly type in their desired zip code and easily browse just about every home on the market. Selling a home? No problem. Zillow will give you a “Zestimate” and you now know how much your home is worth or should I say how much Zillow thinks your home is worth.
Let’s begin by saying don’t trust everything you read on the Internet! In today’s world with consumers demanding more and more information, the Internet is saturated with incomplete, untrustworthy, and just plain wrong information. These sites are a perfect starting point for consumers looking to buy or sell a home, but it’s just that – a starting point. Long gone are the days of one page contracts and no home inspections. In fact, in today’s market, buyers who do not have a pre-approval letter will likely get rejected by sellers.
Having an agent guide you through the buying or selling of your home pays off and saves you time. According to the 2015 Home Buyers and Sellers Profile report, the typical For Sale By Owner home sold for $210,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales – this is almost $40,000 more! For buyers, going unrepresented can cost you in many areas such as negotiating, help in finding the perfect lender to fit your needs, or getting to see homes before they go on the market. Since the listing agent is looking out for the best interest of the seller (even if they navigate you through the paperwork) in the end it is wise to have someone looking out for your best interest as well.
Ultimately, it is about using the evolution of technology to your advantage. Better informed buyers and sellers demand better service. A knowledgeable real estate agent is there to make one of the biggest and often stressful moments in your life a breeze!