We’ll start by giving you the short answer: NO.
We don’t believe that real estate agents are becoming obsolete, and they won’t be for the foreseeable future. Agents exist to keep all sides involved in a real estate transaction honest and to help iron out any kinks in the deal as quickly and easily as possible. Technology alone can only go so far. When it comes to closing the deal, you need a knowledgeable real estate agent by your side. Why? Here are just a few reasons:
1. Buying real estate is unlike any other purchase.
A house is the largest purchase the average person will make in his or her lifetime. Few people attach as much sentiment to any other large possession as they do to a house. To the seller, this house is where they’ve spent time—sometimes decades—making memories and often putting blood, sweat, and tears into maintenance or renovation. To the buyer, the house may be their dream home, the place where they hope to make new memories with their family. A real estate agent is an unbiased party who helps take some of the sentimentality out of the deal and ensures their client looks at things logically. Many attorneys will tell you that real estate transactions that don’t involve agents are some of the most complicated, emotional, and hardest to get to the closing table.
2. Real estate agents are highly trained and educated in their field.
Realtors know their local market inside and out and are required to keep up with continuing education. They know how to market a home. They know how to negotiate to get you the absolute best deal, no matter if you’re the buyer or seller. They know how to keep things moving along so the deal closes on time. They know exactly when and how to present an offer, and they can get the correct paperwork submitted in a timely manner. Using an agent helps you buy or sell more quickly, for a better price, and with less legwork on your part.
3. The real estate market is always changing.
The best agents are proactive. They stay up to date on changing laws, state and federal rules and regulations, mortgage and finance changes, the local and global economy, the local market, local trends, technological advances, and so much more. They adopt new technology but also invest time in cultivating skills a computer or smartphone can’t provide.
4. Real estate agents specialize in your local market.
Sure, it’s easy for anyone to go online and get a general idea of what their house should be worth. But the question is will it actually sell for the amount Zillow, Trulia, or any other real estate website says it should? It’s difficult for homeowners to understand why their home is less valuable than their neighbors’. Your local Realtor knows why. Your neighbor’s home could be on a larger lot, or it might be completely renovated inside or have certain highly desirable features your house doesn’t have. A good real estate agent can produce a comparative market analysis (CMA) that shows you exactly how and why your house is different from other houses in the same market.
5. Agents know what to do in a sticky situation.
They know exactly how to handle a multiple-offer situation, whether they represent the buyer or the seller. They have connections and know which lenders, inspectors, contractors, and other vendors are worth their salt, which keeps you from being cheated. If you have trouble obtaining a traditional mortgage loan, they also have access to information on alternative financing. Having trouble making ends meet? Guess what. Your friendly neighborhood real estate agent can help you out with foreclosure prevention solutions.
6. First-time buyers will always need professional help.
Again, we acknowledge that there is a wealth of information on the internet concerning the purchase and sale of real estate. There are tons of websites and mobile apps designed to help you find your dream home. But when it comes down to it, a first-time buyer will almost always need someone to guide them through the actual process of buying a home. There are so many intricacies involved in a deal that it’s impossible to understand all of them as a first-time buyer without the help of an agent. Without one, you risk being taken advantage of or violating certain laws and regulations without realizing it.
7. Real estate agents are pros at negotiating.
In any real estate transaction, there is a certain amount of negotiation. Buyers want to get their dream home at the lowest price possible, and sellers want to get the highest dollar amount they can for their homes. Negotiations are tricky and can be extremely involved. Not everyone has the skill required to conduct them. A good agent will apply these skills to help get their clients the best price while satisfying all parties in the transaction. They know exactly how to adjust the give-and-take required to make a sale as smooth as possible.
The bottom line is this: if you purchase or sell real estate without the help of a licensed real estate agent, you’re putting yourself and your investment at risk. At Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company, our agents provide invaluable help and insight combined with a high level of expertise and top-notch service. If you haven’t contacted a real estate agent yet, do yourself a favor and get in touch with us for boutique service like no other.