Don’t Replace Your Agent With The Internet
With the influx of new technology and web based solutions, it isn’t a surprise that everything is moving fast into the era of the internet. From sites like Uber to Grubhub, we generally can pull up our phones or laptops to order what we want with ease. And with every industry being revolutionized by technology, the same approach is beingapplied to the real estate industry.
Most of us can agree that simplifying the buying or selling process is a good thing, but the attempt to replace Realtors® by sites like Zillow and other third party resources, can lead buyers and sellers down a disastrous path. You can use your devices to look for a home and maybe look at the market data the way you look at WebMD. Once you start to get serious, though, you need a real professional’s input, just like you would for a medial issue. Finding out information on line is fun and gives you a general idea of what to expect. The data online is an oversimplified version of what goes into the process of buying and selling just as the internet can oversimplifya medical diagnosis.
Although a Realtor® isn’t quite like a doctor, the industry, with it’s legalities, contracts, and processes, is similar in that it needs to be taken seriously. The purchase or sale of a home is a huge financial undertaking and requires knowledge and expertise. Looking for a house online and wanting to put in an immediate offer can be exciting and fun, but the issues that require a professional’s guidance come after the initial contract is written up. Contingencies, inspections, additional negotiations, Home Owners Assocciation document reviews, loan issues and more can all derail an otherwise solid offer. If you are a seller and you decide to put your home on the market with a website that will give you an automatic offer, how do you know you’re not being taken advantage of with the price? How do you know you’re not being taken advantage of in other aspects of the contract? There is a lot more to the sale of the home then just agreeing on a number.
The next time you’re digging through public sites for homes for sale, and getting instant home valuation estimates, keep in mind that this is a simple process intended to give you an idea of your market. A very general idea. Keep in mind the data is often outdated–or even wrong! But after you’ve found the perfect house, or after you’ve decided that the numbers make some sense for you to sell, call your favorite Realtor® and make sure they give you a more detailed look at the market. They can assist you through the full process, not just the exciting first parts. Because it’s going to be in the middle of a contract, when the lending is falling apart or negotiations can’t be agreed to for repairs, that you are going to wish you had put down your laptop and had an Realtor® on your side.
Use the internet, have fun with it’s amazing resources, but don’t let it replace your Realtor®. We aren’t in an age, just yet, where technology can do everything a professional can.