Thirty years ago, there were no websites like Zillow or Trulia. Real estate agents had exclusive access to the newest listing data, there was hardly any transparency, checking comparisons was simple and making offers was a breeze. Everything was offline and in control. Everything was simple. How quickly things have changed.
In a couple of clicks today, buyers can see everything they want to know about a home on the Multiple Listing Service, they can check market trends and comparisons. It’s even possible for sellers to get instant offers for their homes.
Because of the boost in technology and shuffle in knowledge, a question has arisen within the real estate world if agents will become obsolete by 2028.
According to Nate Crandell, an agent with Compass Realty in Winchester, the answer is no. “I think it’s pretty simple,” he said. “It’s a profession.”
To stand out from the crowd, many real estate agents strive to offer more value and better service. By doing that, they’re creating their own value.
Bryant Gochenour, an agent with Skyline Team Real Estate in Woodstock, said for many individuals this is the largest purchase of their life.
“The internet is a great tool,” he said. “But it can’t replace the knowledge or expertise we [agents] have gained over the years.”
Crandell added that when individuals put their homes up for sale or purchase a home for the first time, there are a lot of moving parts that require a professional.
“It’s important to have someone on your side,” he said. “Just because you can go online doesn’t mean you should.”
After a homebuyer finds a home or after an investor finds a great deal, to reduce headaches, both parties must be able to put together a strong offer that will protect their interests, from start to finish. For many, the knowledge needed is something they lack. Enter the real estate agent.
Wanda Himes, an associate broker with Weichert in Front Royal, added the importance of legality.
“When buying or selling a home, understanding what documentation is needed is incredibly valuable,” she said. “It can make or break a deal.”
Good agents are well versed in economics, accounting, law, marketing, and management, along with market trends and wants versus needs of buyers and sellers.
Jennifer Rogers, an agent with Weichert in Front Royal, said education is the most important tool for an agent to remain in the industry.
“A good agent will not only educate themselves but they will educate their buyers and sellers,” she said.