The role of the real estate agent is rapidly changing as the Internet, smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, electronic document signing and other technology finally seem to be transforming the real estate industry in ways that other professions such as travel agents and stock brokers can well understand. Both buyers and sellers have access to information and tools that allow them to do many of the tasks that previously required the services of a real estate agent. Many of the tasks real estate agents perform have become easier and less time consuming. Real estate for many years was able to resist dramatic change in how business is done and how agents charge for services, but it appears that consumer demand and competition have now reached a point where change is inevitable and happening at a rapid pace.
For many years, real estate agents succeeded in being the gatekeepers to information. Buyers who wanted information on properties for sale had few options other than to use the services of an agent with access to a Multiple Listing Service. Sellers who wanted to get their properties in front of those buyers had few options than to list their properties with agents who would put in on the MLS. Commissions were theoretically negotiable, but in reality really were not. Agents who tried to do things differently found they had a hard time because the majority of other agents made business difficult for anyone who wanted to think and work outside the box.
Things began to change in the 1990’s as the Internet began its ascent, but it really has only been in the last few years that consumer demand and entrepreneurial risk takers have had substantial impact on the way real estate is bought and sold and how agents charge for their services. Real estate is currently undergoing some disruptive changes that have seen web sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and literally hundreds of similar efforts compete with the MLS controlled by real estate agents for dominance in consumer use. Savvy agents have adapted by offering a menu of service and fee options to meet their clients needs rather than the one size fits all approach common before. Consumers are better educated and now have options that allow them to do many tasks on their own if they choose, or hire someone to do them for them and pay lower fees for defined services or still utilize a commission based pay only at closing model.
Because there are now multiple options, it is important for real estate consumers to understand both their choices and their needs and wants in real estate services. Buying or selling a piece of property for most people represents the largest transaction in terms of dollars they will make and most only do it a few times in their lives, so not making mistakes is important. The sheer volume of information available and myriad of sources make it imperative that consumers understand the realities of the real estate market and also understand the motives and incentives for those providing the information. A good real estate agent can be a valuable tool for most buyers and sellers by providing accurate, unbiased advice and guidance designed to promote and protect the best interest of the their clients rather than themselves. How and how much you pay that agent can have an influence and whether your interests or the agents interests take precedence.
Goddin Real Estate has been at the forefront of offering alternatives to the one size fits all commission based real estate business models for more than 10 years. GRE understands that all buyers and sellers have different levels of knowledge, time and comfort level to accomplish the tasks necessary to achieve their goals. To find out more how you can work with Goddin Real Estate to receive experienced professional services designed to fit your needs, contact John Goddin at 919-968-2100 or John@GoddinRealEstate.com for a no obligation initial consultation.