Is Real Estate still a people business?
The Internet has made it easier to find information and to find properties for sale. The problem is... what to do with that information.
Here are some of the things that the Internet has made easier for buyers, sellers, and those in need of a mortgage.
Pro: You can now find pretty much every possible property listed for sale across the country and view them from the comfort of your own home.
Con: If you set up a showing of the property directly with the listing agent, you risk a dual agency relationship. Dual Agency is when an agent (broker) represents the seller and the buyer. Since it is actually impossible to get the seller the highest price possible and the buyer the lowest price possible, they then actually need to represent neither party's best interest, and become a "neutral". Bottom line, a conflict of interest.
Solution: Find a local real estate agent to assist you with buying or building before you begin your search. You can continue to do your searches online and when you do find one you want to see, contact your agent who should be looking out for your best interests! If that property doesn't end up being the one... you are not back to square one... just keep looking with the assistance of your local real estate professional. Plus, local agents may know of new listings that are coming to market and get you in to see them before they are listed for sale! Plus, the seller or builder usually pays the commission of your agent, even though he or she represents you... so no cost to have someone look out for your best interests! Most agents are able to set you up to receive new or changed listings automatically.
Pro: You can search lots of information about selling your house. Things to do, things not to do.
Con: Many articles are general in nature... what will work in one market, may not work or even apply in yours.
Solution: Find a local real estate agent that specializes in selling homes in your area first. They know the market conditions and what is expected. They can search recent sales and help you determine what the market may be willing to pay for your home. They can keep an eye on the market activity and keep you posted on changes. No one knows a local market better than a local real estate agent!
Mortgages (for purchase, refinance, or home equity loans)
Pro: You can learn the difference between a fixed rate and an adjustable rate. You can research the different types of ARMs if you wish. You can even fill out a few forms on some sites and quotes back.
Con: If you fill out a form to get quotes, you usually get 4 to 12 people calling you until they know you have gone with one of them... the sales tactics are typically high pressure since they all want you to choose them before you talk to anyone else. You may not be getting quotes on the same product, you could have 4 to 9 credit pulls on your credit report and your personal information is now "out there".
Solution: There are some sites that allow you to submit your information and remain 100% anonymous. You can receive local bids on your request and see all of the bid details, research the lenders that are submitting the bids by viewing their websites, and you contact them when you are ready.
Real Estate is and always has been a people business. Local real estate professionals to help you buy or build… local real estate professionals to help you sell… and local mortgage loan officers to assist you with your mortgage needs.
By Diane Tuman
- Flag content
Stating a discriminatory preference in an advertisement for housing is illegal. If you think this content is discriminatory or otherwise inappropriate and feel it should be removed from Zillow, please let us know by completing the information above.Close
- Content flagged
We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.
- We're Sorry
- This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.