The internet has become a natural part of our lives. Real estate is no different, with so much reality information on the net, more and more buyers are saving on foot work and looking at houses online. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 92 percent of perspective buyers searched for homes online.
The NAR also asked buyers where they first saw or learned about the home they purchased, 43 percent said from the internet – up 36 percent from 2009.
So with the number of buyers taking to the World Wide Web to search for houses, you wonder about the state of the real estate agent. Not to fear, in that same study from the NAR, of the 92 percent of buyers who did an internet search, 90 percent of them bought their home through a real estate agent.
Thirty- three percent of those asked in the same study said they learned about their home through an agent. Not bad.
So even though buyers may be looking on their own, they are still using agents and brokers at a significantly high rate. There are a number of reasons why using an agent is still the best practice.
To start, having an agent increases your chances of finding the right house for you and can help you negotiate the price; agents have connections with other agents and may have access to homes getting ready to hit the market. Another big reason is that because of the crash, there have been so many changes in real estate laws and practices that an agent can walk you through.
One misconception a buyer may have is that they have to pay an agent to help them look for and buy a house. Not true, when an agent enters into a contract with a seller, part of that contract are the commission fees that will cover the cost of paying the buyer’s agent. So there aren’t any upfront fees or out of pocket costs for the buyer
Also, if a buyer decides to go to an open house or visit a builder model and doesn’t register a buyer’s agent or calls a listing without mentioning an agent because they are looking on their own but then decides to use an agent, the builder or seller’s agent then has the right to not pay the buyer’s agent commission because they are under the assumption the buyer is not represented.
Nowadays agents are very tech savvy and are willing to work hard to please their buyers. Buyers become sellers which mean repeat business. Good agents build their business with repeat business and referrals so they have to do the best job possible for buyers and sellers.
As a buyer, why not take advantage of that.