Real estate agents are a resilient bunch, able to ride the constant ebbs and flows of an ever-changing market year after year. One of their most accomplished feats is surviving the influx of technology that other professions haven’t been able to. Not only are they surviving, they are thriving, using the internet to their advantage and as one expert put it, “crushing” social media.
“Given that technology has become so important to buying and selling homes, you’d also think real estate agents would be a dying breed — yet they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down, with approximately 2 million active real estate agents throughout the country,” Craig Donofrio wrote in the realtor.com article “6 Reasons Real Estate Agents Aren’t Extinct.”
Donofrio asked some realty experts their opinions on why real estate agents were able to survive the “technology transition.”
Reason no. 1: Selling is complicated — A real estate transaction may be one of the most complex business dealings anyone will complete, David Reiss of the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship at Brooklyn Law School told Donofrio. Lenders for a short sale, for example, may have requirements that “a regular person would have no idea about” and may be “much more intricate than a regular transaction,” Reiss said in the article.
Reason no. 2: Buying ain’t easy, either — Just as in selling, purchasing a property can be confusing. Buyers may find themselves overwhelmed with paperwork and stressed from trying to coordinate meetings with all the different players, including the seller’s agent and lender and title companies. “Agents ease the whole transaction, and it’s something that has kept their profession alive,” Donofrio wrote.
Reason no. 3: It’s their top priority — Buyers and sellers have a multitude of other priorities such as jobs and children. Having someone who is dedicated to this one aspect makes their lives easier, according to Donofrio. “A Realtor has a singular aim: to sell houses,” Reiss said in the article.
Reason no. 4: They know the market and the players better than [the consumer] — Essentially, because real estate is their jobs, Realtors will know more about tracking listings and price timing than the average person. “They understand condo boards and title companies,” Reiss said in the article. “As a player in the game, they know what the other players are looking for and how to deliver.”
Reason no. 5: They’re objective — Buyer criticisms about a home could be a negotiating tactic, Donofrio noted. “It impacts objectivity for a seller to hear negative things about their own place,” Reiss said. “Realtors aren’t emotionally invested. They don’t take comments personally.”
Reason no. 6: The cost is worth it — Time is money, and having a real estate agent working on a seller’s behalf will save them lots of time. “Plus, given that home buying and selling is a negotiation where you can save big if you bargain right, skilled real estate agents can step in to fight on your behalf, saving you major money,” Donofrio wrote.