Q: 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 the agents following the path of the dinosaurs?
A: Ouch! It hits close to home. However, it’s a great question and one that’s been asked frequently over the past decade. The role of a real estate agent in today’s information age has evolved.
The same question was also asked about stockbrokers, accountants and even doctors. Has the Internet and search technology liberated or overwhelmed people in today’s world? Probably both. It freed us from total dependence on experts and professionals. There is a wonderful transparency in the world now. The internet is the great equalizer. This is a good thing. It also forced us to do our own research and strive to make well-informed and educated decisions. It’s not that good. How many hours do you have in your day? Yeah me too.
Would you like to represent yourself in court? All information is available. What risk could there be? Why go to a doctor anymore? WebMD will diagnose your symptoms. You can buy your medications online. You could learn how to heal your own broken arm.
I may be exaggerating.
There has been an exponential growth in the complexity of real estate transactions. Today’s real estate agents are professionals who study and research the market, economic trends and local political conditions. That’s why savvy buyers, sellers and investors turn to a real estate agent. Officers had to keep abreast of the rapidly changing Internet environment. Customers today want instant answers and answers.
For most people, a real estate transaction is infrequent, emotional and complicated. More importantly, agents are your human contact and transaction coordinators in the impersonal world of real estate. Real estate agents are also your arms, your legs and your voice. They are on the phone, showing properties and making sure all the details are correct. In short, agents are your advocates and will work diligently to resolve issues. No app can replace that.
Technological advancements are a boon to the world of real estate. As I mentioned, there is transparency. The agent earns your trust by being upfront and honest and by working hard. It also helps that you can now verify what you are being told.
The Internet has lowered transaction costs in real estate. Agents today embrace this development. Research is now done online. Transactions are increasingly done electronically.
So to answer your question, yes, real estate agents continue to play a valuable role in real estate transactions. We are here to serve and we are here to stay.
Marsha Gray has worked in Santa Barbara real estate for over 25 years. She works at Allyn & Associates, where she helps clients buy and sell homes and with loan services. To read more of Marsha’s Q&A articles, visit MarshaGraySBhomes.com. Contact Marsha at (805) 252-7093 or MarshaGraySB@gmail.com. DRE#012102130; NMLS #1982164.
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