How Technology Has Changed Real Estate
It’s the 21stcentury. I would guess most Americans have at least one computer in their household. Most have multiple wireless devices and carry them just about everywhere they go. We have access to so much information, literally at our fingertips. So much has changed because of technology. YouTube has “How-to” videos for pretty much anything you can think of. You can fix things, find things, sell things and buy things. So, how has technology changed real estate?
- Buyers can find houses online.
- Buyers can shop and apply for a loan without ever putting a pen to paper.
- Buyers can read blogs about everything from appreciating neighborhoods to decorating.
- Sellers can list and market their homes for sale online.
- Sellers can watch videos to learn about home staging.
- Sellers can even find general real estate contracts online.
- Buyers and Sellers can listen to podcasts on the art of negotiations.
So, if technology can give Buyers and Sellers so much information, what does the professional real estate agent bring to the equation?
- Time: Since most homeowners only buy or sell a property every 5-7 years, you would need to brush up on new laws, Codes, and trends. A professional real estate agent helps clients buy and sell many houses each year so they are up to date on current laws and education, saving you hours upon hours in research. They hold open houses – saving you time on a weekend when you likely would rather be with friends or family. Your house will likely sell quicker or you will get the right one under contract quicker using a professional real estate agent.
- Experience: Because of the amount of real estate transactions a professional real estate agent has been involved in, it is likely they already know pitfalls and how to avoid them. They know what is important to Buyers and Sellers, helping their client have a leg up in negotiations. It is common for agents to have worked with each other and can make the deal that much smoother because of the professional relationships they have built over the years. They are great resources for everything from painters to inspectors, stagers to title companies. They also have built-in networks of people that share un-listed properties, and that they market to as well, something you would likely never have access to. There isn’t much that technology can do to beat a professional real estate agent who has been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions.
- Money: It is true, you can find just about anything you need online and you can do it all yourself. Besides time, you can most likely save money by hiring a professional real estate agent. They pay for photos, videos, digital and print marketing, dues to local real estate associations, network groups and organizations that all share information. And, finally, in negotiations, whether you’re buying or selling, they will most often help you save money and/or sell your home for the most money possible.
The biggest value I believe you get from working with a professional real estate agent is their expertise when it comes to the contract and all of the ancillary documents. These are legally binding contracts that have a lot of consequences to them if they are not followed properly. So, yes, technology has changed real estate, but the smartest, most successful people know it is still best to use the services of the professional real estate agent.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.