Is technology making real estate agents obsolete?
As with most industries, new technologies and online platforms have opened the door to let interested home buyers look at what houses are on the market. Up until a few years ago, unless you were a real estate agent, you had no easy way of knowing which homes were available. According to the National Association of Realtors, the majority of home buyers today search for and often find their own homes without real estate agents. So, what does an agent bring to the table?
While they are no longer needed to unlock the door, the value of an agent is the expertise and insight that they bring to the table. They know what to look for in the house and look out for the buyer or seller’s bottom line. There are a lot of components that make up the sale or purchase of a home – price, negotiations, mortgage, inspections, titles, and more. If you try to do this on your own – whose got your back? A good agent should work for you to get the best price and negotiate all the fine details of the deal. In the book Freakonomics, world-renowned economist Steven Levitt published his thoughts about the misalignment between the interests of real estate agents and those of their clients. Agents are better served if sales happen quickly and at a high price. Buyers are best served if the home is right—even if it takes a long time to find—and the price is low.
Consumers have new options today to go with brokerages that change the traditional business model. For example, some companies offer agents that are paid flat fees, rather than a percentage-based commission. At Homie, agents are focused on no-pressure transactions since speed and price are not factored into their salary. This ultimately saves thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket costs for buyers.
Agents, unlike automated online tools or apps, bring the ability to assess the unique characteristics of the house, neighborhood, seller, buyer, and other factors to help execute a sale that is successful for everyone involved. Without experience and the ability to understand the whole picture, conquering the housing market on your own is possible but likely won’t be completed in a savvy or cost effective way.
Wayne Graham is the Head of Real Estate from Homie Arizona. Homie is a real estate technology company changing the way real estate is bought and sold by eliminating high fees and commissions. The company simplified an outdated and overcomplicated process through a combination of technology and expert, full-service agent support. Homie is the #1 flat fee brokerage in Arizona and the top listing brokerage office in the state of Utah – they are also quickly growing in Nevada, Colorado, and Idaho. With real estate, home loans, closing services, and insurance, the Homie Tech family is making every aspect of buying and selling a home simple, affordable, and enjoyable. Finally, the way real estate should be. To learn more, visit: www.homie.com.
Wayne Graham is the head of real estate for Homie Arizona.