According to a 2018 Pew Research study, 77 percent of Americans visit the internet daily. Shopping, social media, news, banking, you name it…we can do it all online. In fact, with so much available at our fingertips, some people are even using the internet to buy and sell real estate. But, with an investment that large, can you really use the World Wide Web as a replacement for a REALTOR®?
Here are just a few of the things you’ll miss out on if you choose the internet over professional representation.
Strategic Pricing Strategy
Several websites offer automated valuation models (AVMs), that allow you to type in an address and get a price based on an algorithm. However, these AVMs should be considered estimates only.
REALTOR® Frank Vicenté with EXIT Realty Home Partners says these discrepancies are why algorithms can’t take the place of a local REALTOR®’s knowledge.
“While these websites can give you a ballpark figure, they can’t effectively determine a home’s value if they’ve never set foot inside,” he said. “A website doesn’t know the condition of a home or if there have been recent updates, and these are important factors in determining an accurate price range.”
Extensive Market Knowledge
REALTORS® live and breathe real estate every day, and they know the ins and outs of every neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and point you in the direction to find information on schools, crime, and more.
REALTORS® also have in-depth knowledge of the local market, which is critical because market conditions dictate the selling and buying process. Data such as average sales price, average days on market, inventory levels, average price per square foot, interest rates, the current economy, the time of year, etc. all have a bearing on how you proceed with buying or selling a home.
Of course, you can research market trends online, but it’s important to remember that real estate is very local in nature. Just because something is true on a national level or in a major metropolitan city, doesn’t mean it applies to your area. Only local REALTORS® possess the intimate knowledge that is necessary in a successful real estate transaction.
Networking and Marketing Tools
It’s true that the Internet provides some great networking capabilities. However, posting your home on Craigslist or sharing it on Facebook doesn’t compare to the marketing tools available when you work with a professional REALTOR®.
When partnering with an agent, not only do you get widespread exposure for your home through the multiple listing service (MLS), but your agent will also promote your listing to fellow agents and through their well-established social media presence and professional networks.
Top-Notch Negotiating Skills
Not just anyone can skillfully navigate a real estate negotiation. In a fast-paced market you can expect tough competition, multiple offers, bidding wars, and even some cutthroat tactics. Should you decide to go it alone, chances are the other side will be represented by an experienced agent, and you’ll automatically be at a disadvantage.
And, when it comes to the complex paperwork, unless you have a background in contracts or law, it’s best to leave the paperwork to the pros.
REALTORS® know just about everyone in the industry who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home.
You can search online for reviews and recommendations, but agents can give you a list of references they have successfully worked with on previous transactions. Lenders, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, interior designers, landscapers, home stagers…if you need one, your REALTOR® most likely has a few referrals. You can always turn to your REALTOR® for suggestions on home professionals, even if it has been five years since moving in.
Experience and Education
The bottom line is you don’t need to know everything about real estate if you hire a professional who does. While this may be your first, second, or even third buying or selling experience, your REALTOR® handles hundreds of transactions during his/her career. And, because they are required to participate in continuing education, REALTORS® are always “in the know’ when it comes to the ever-changing regulations and laws.
“Think about it this way, there is an unlimited amount of medical information available online, but if a health issue comes up, chances are you’ll head to the doctor,” said Vicenté. “The internet can be a powerful tool, but when it comes to one of the biggest investments of your life, it’s important to hire a trusted professional who will look out for your best interests.”
Original Date: Feb 27 2019
Written by: Meghan Webber