Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Are real estate agents still necessary?

The internet has undoubtedly changed the nature of various professions. Just as the typewriter has become obsolete, some professional services have become less necessary and are fading away. Film developers, mail carriers, typists, travel agents and now real estate agents are becoming less important. Those who need real estate agents are people who need to be babysat through documentation and are unable to do a house search by themselves. The internet through the MLS has listing of properties with detailed information and pictures. You can also drive around and find properties for sale or rent. If you know the market and read about the property (every county has information on each property), you can pretty much find what suits you without someone else guiding you. I have met real estate agents who just didn’t get what I needed. Or those trying to push you into something you clearly don’t want. Or those who get lost and still use the paper copies for each property instead of a lap top or tablet.

Real estate agents have become door openers. Informed customers can find online and through careful research all they need to know about properties. The same is not true about commercial real estate. Commercial real estate is trickier. It is advisable to have someone negotiate the terms for you. Real estate agents get very defensive when people say they are becoming obsolete. For many people without formal education or training and those who want a flexible schedule, selling houses has been the quickest path to making money. What they need to realize is that some people just don’t need them. And with the internet, their “secret listings” are no longer secret.

Real estate agents are now catering to recent immigrants or people who don’t want to do the work. They are the middleman, and for many people, that 3% (or 6% for those who are selling) is a lot of money to part with. I have heard that doctors can one day become obsolete. That is a far reach, since our bodies are way too complex and medicine is not mathematics. If someone wants to get in real estate at this date and age, prepare to be technologically inclined and to concentrate in customers who are not very independent or internet savvy.

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February 15, 2011 - Posted by | Society

3 Comments »

  1. Ha! 🙂
    Well, yes and no.
    A savvy and knowledgeable real estate agent can do the legwork for you, even if you are also savvy and knowledgeable but find yourself very busy. Also, a lot of things have changed in real estate after the bust… legislation, short sales, foreclosures…complicated business that only an experienced ( and honest) agent will be able to deal with. These agents know that you require special attention–if they want your business, and show only the properties that match your criteria. Plus if you get one that REALLY knows an area well, you’ll get the better deals out there. Bottom line, you don’t have to get an agent, but if you do require one, make sure you also do some homework before you make the phone call.

    Comment by Flavia C | February 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. In Brasília in all the apt and house searching that we’ve done every time we moved, NEVER did anyone go with us. It’s not usual. We go, get the key at the real estate office, look at the place and return the key. I never felt the need to have a real estate agent with me and I think they would only piss me off telling me the obvious… “this is the kitchen…” No duh!

    Comment by Fernanda | March 27, 2011 | Reply

  3. I think it is tough for agents with the internet age. Some do a fantastic job. But I think most don’t do anything more than upload the home to the MLS system in their area. I have seen some pretty cool Flat Fee Companies crop up lately. Here is one I like most: http://www.listtrue.com

    It looks like they do a ton of things to market your home. I will go with a Flat Fee MLS company when I am selling my home in about two years. Maybe the price and technology will be better then anyways??

    Comment by Brian | July 17, 2011 | Reply


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