Now that the digital age is upon us, some are questioning the role of the traditional real estate agent. While the Internet has eliminated some of the conventional duties of real estate agents, it hasn’t completely replaced them. Real estate agents will not go the way of the travel agents and many brick and mortar retail outlets. Let’s take a look at why real estate agents are still vital to the real estate industry.
The Internet Has Not Supplanted Real Estate Agents
While websites like Trulia, Zillow, and other real estate digital resources provide plenty of important data for free, the public is not exclusively relying on those services to find property. The National Association of Realtors reports that 89 percent of those who purchased property in 2012 relied on the services of a real estate agent. This is actually up from 69 percent in 2001. It is a rather surprising statistic to those who don’t know the ins and outs of the industry. One would think that the percentage of Americans who hire a real estate agent would decrease during the rapid growth of the Internet. Yet the opposite has happened. Even those who are selling homes are increasingly relying on the assistance of a real estate agent. The National Association of Realtors reports that 91 percent of home sellers worked with a real estate agent in 2012. Back in 1987, only 80 percent of home sellers relied on the services of a real estate agent.
A Real Estate Transaction Isn’t Cut And Dry
Since the real estate industry crashed, it has become a bit more complicated. Lending standards have stiffened and the number of foreclosures and short sales have increased. This means that the buying and selling public needs more help as complex transactions become more commonplace. These deals are not a clear cut in the slightest. Financing, negotiations and the minutia of contracts often intimidate the average home buyer or seller. The general public does not understand the nuances of real estate transactions and they are eager to rely on the expertise of a real estate agent, even if he isn’t an accomplished real estate digital marketer.
Real Estate Agents Provide Personalized Service
While the web has enabled buyers to pinpoint homes that they are interested in, real estate agents are still necessary to show home seekers the properties and lead them on informative tours. Agents then assist the buyers with the closing processes. Although some websites have ramped up their real estate marketing to advertise their new home tour services, they have also increased their rates for this expanded service. The general public is much more inclined to trust an experienced real estate agent regardless of his real estate digital marketing prowess. The public wants to work with an experienced agent who can educate them about properties, neighborhoods, alternative property options and the current pulse of the local market.
Real Estate Transactions Carry An Unparalleled Magnitude
The primary reason why people still rely on real estate agents is that the purchase or sale of a home is typically an enormous life event. Nobody feels comfortable proceeding through a home closing without the help of an experienced professional. This is precisely why real estate agents’ commissions are still quite generous. One’s home is the most valuable item that an individual owns so he is not going to trust a cut-rate third party to handle the details of the transaction. Home seekers and sellers are willing to pay a premium for the reliability and professionalism that a veteran real estate agent brings to the table.