Alike in some ways, agents are helping the consumer with personal plans and while travel/vacations have pieces/parts; flight, car, hotel, etc… like RE transactions have pieces/parts; staging, marketing, photos, finding the house, getting the right financing, title, negotiations, etc… A vacation might be $5000+ vs. real estate transactions often exceeds $500,000 and ONE simple oversight could easily carry the risk/cost vs. having full service representation from a Realtor.
Quite often, people have the majority of their wealth tied to their home, there’s too much money involved to wing it on your own. Making a wise decision about which home to buy (and what financing makes the most sense for a particular house and buyer) is critical in the event a home-owner needs or wants to sell.
Information available on the Internet is great for our industry, however, I wish the data was more reliable and the goals of these sites weren’t aimed so much toward capturing the consumers’ information and selling the information to Real Estate agents/brokerages and mortgage lenders. Mobile apps are great for consumers! Buyers can be in front of a house, bring the listing up on their phone, and see pictures and receive the information they need, WITHOUT CALLING THE NUMBER ON THE SIGN!
The sign in the yard is a marketing tool for the listing agent. The listing agent was hired to market and SELL the house for the current home owner. If the caller doesn’t want to buy that house, they hope to SELL the caller on using them to help them buy another house. Most likely when someone calls the phone number on the sign, they’ll get a voice mail or a receptionist; it’s a pita for the “shopper”. Phone apps give the interested party immediate access to the desired information without having to deal with a salesperson.
Does a seller still need a Realtor? Yes–a listing won’t be on all the Internet sites/phone apps without one. And, there’s more to selling a home than being on the Internet, there’s staging and pricing, negotiating, documenting the paperwork, and anticipating/preparing for possible issues with the transaction. Remember, this is home, as well as an investment.
Does a buyer still need a Realtor? Yes, finding the right home is only one part of a real estate transaction. Unless someone is buying and selling homes on a routine basis, there’s no way to have the kind of experience to be able to navigate through the very complex process and decision making. If you don’t buy right, you can’t sell right…
Never address a court regarding a matter over $100K+ without an attorney. So, don’t become a statistic in the “I can’t sell my home” class! Download phone app(s) and have fun using them And, when it comes time to make big decisions on investments, interview and hire the right professional(s) to help come to the best decisions.
Better access to information will definitely save on time, gas and will help enable a more educated decision, but won’t eliminate the need of RE professionals.