It’s not a secret that you can browse for homes on the internet. A favorite past-time of mine is searching for properties in luxury destinations and sorting them by “price-high to low.” Homebuyers have more power than they’ve ever had access to. And it may sound like a no-brainer to make turn the real-estate world into a virtual transaction… but online house shopping is a little tricker than buying a pair of jeans online. (Which can also be impossible.)
So why do we even need real estate agents?
Safety. Homeowners don’t just want to let anyone in their home. Making appointments through listing and selling agents gives sellers the comfort of knowing a professional is in their home and not a complete stranger that messaged them off of Craigslist.
Negotiation. Are you a skilled negotiator? How would you handle a counteroffer? Do you know where to deposit earnest money? Do you know what earnest money is? Realtors spend hours and hours of course work (and field work) learning the legalities of real estate transactions. They are paid to get you the best possible deal for your dream home.
Closing. The closing process can be a, well, process. From questions about closing costs, walking through a CL100, arranging a home inspection, communicating with the sellers agent, keeping everyone informed and happy. It’s a stressful time, and realtors are your bouncing board for all questions and concerns during the (on-average) 35-45-day closing period.
The internet lies. I know, this is shocking information. We all like to think we have honorary medical degrees from Google. But when you’re not legally protected in a transaction or you were misinformed online about the condition of a home, a good realtor is here to protect you from that.
Talking to a real person. Never underestimate the power of human interaction. The internet can do a LOT, and it definitely gives you an advantage when looking for a home. But let the professionals handle all the not so glamorous parts (aka everything that happens after you find a house on Trulia) of purchasing a home.