How have our needs and expectations changed over time when it comes to real estate agents?
Today, a real estate agent has to do a lot of things that they didn’t have to do ten years ago. From changes in the market and in government policies to the rise of countless online resources, the real estate business has changed in big ways. How has the real estate agent’s job changed over time, and where is it going?
The Growth Of Online Listing Sites
Just a few years ago, if you wanted to buy a home, you had to get to know a real estate agent first. Real estate agents were the first point of contact and the best way to find out what homes were on the market because they had access to the multiple listing service (MLS).
These days, there’s no need for a real estate agent to begin perusing listings in a targeted location; listing sites make it possible for anyone to do so, complete with instant access to market alerts and statistics. Sites like this also facilitate the introduction of prospective buyers to the appropriate real estate agent.
For many people who want to buy a house, these listing sites are now the first step. A few years ago, the first step was always to talk to an agent they knew or had been referred to. Of course, agents are able to utilize this to their advantage, showcasing properties and even using virtual staging; real estate agents love it because it helps them sell more easily.
A Greater Understanding
As the amount of information on the internet keeps growing, it has become easier and more common for people to learn about real estate laws and processes.
Potential clients don’t need a realtor to look for available homes, and they don’t even have to talk to a realtor to get answers to their basic questions. Instead, they can go to any real estate website or social media page and scroll for a few minutes to get a feel for the process, or they can go to YouTube and search for video tutorials. Users can usually find the information they need without contacting an agent if they conduct a quick online search and read through the various articles and blogs that come up in the results.
What Is The Real Estate Agent’s Role?
Despite what we’ve said above, there is still an important role for real estate agents to play. Local knowledge is crucial, for example. It’s difficult to get a sense of a location without speaking to someone who actually lives there, no matter how much research is done online or how much time is spent exploring on Google Earth.
Many people who are just starting to look for a home are moving, sometimes even to a different state. Buyers don’t have much time to visit an area and learn about its culture and atmosphere, so they depend on real estate agents to tell them the most important things about it.
Market knowledge is also vital. A real estate agent will have the knowledge and experience to help people price their homes correctly. Plus, they will be able to negotiate the best deals.
So although it might be possible to do away with real estate agents in theory, in practice, although their role might have changed a lot, they are still a crucial part of successfully selling a home.