As in every industry, technology is making huge changes in the way an industry works. Real estate is no exception. Whether you are in Frisco, TX or Seattle, Washington people are using technology to buy and sell homes everyday. What is interesting to me is that it appears as if real estate consumers are believing everything they read on the internet about real estate. In fact, many will believe something on the internet more than in a face to face meeting with a realtor.
As I have said before, real estate agents and salespeople live by Napoleanic law where we are guilty until we prove ourselves innocent. We inherit every sin every other agent or sales person has committed on our potential prospect. Some people I have spoken with regarding available homes will argue with me about the availability of a home. I am looking it up on the MLS, which is the most up to date information you can get regarding a listed home, and they may be on a national board that gets their information from MLS on a less frequent basis.
There is nothing wrong with using a national board. In fact it can be the best place to start understanding a local market. The problem is that a national board does not live and breathe in the same area that you local Realtor does. Your local real estate agent should have their finger on the pulse of the local RE market. The good ones stay on top of the market and are ready for the change. An agent has to be able to see when the market is going from a red hot seller's market to a more balanced market. You can start seeing some of those changes already in the northern DFW real estate market.
While a consumer may have access to a lot of information, an agent still has access to much more. A good technology oriented agent can run reports and searches that you as a consumer simply do not have the ability to accomplish. As a consumer you may be thinking that a RE agent is like every other sales person. I have certainly met my share that operate in that manner. However, when you talk to more and more agents you will start to see which one is right for you. Ask questions from general to specific. Interview your agents.
There is absolutely no reason, especially if you are buying a home, not to talk to agents. If you try and represent yourself as a buyer and work directly with the listing agent you might end up with that original thought that you just can't trust an agent. The reason is that listing agent does not have your best interest at heart. They always have their seller's best interest at heart as that is their fiduciary responsibility. At best you may get the selling agent to represent you too. Now it is like you buying directly from the seller. The agent can no longer give either of you advice or recommendations. When you represent yourself you are simply perpetuating the myth that real estate agents are like every other salesperson. We are no all created equally, nor created in the same mold.
When you have looked at the national boards and have an idea of what you want to buy or if you want to sell your home, interview several agents and find out who you trust. When you are in the DFW, come interview me. Find out directly how I will assist you in every step and every phase of the transaction. Find out what my customers already know—Your Success is My Focus.