It is often speculated that the Internet will eventually replace real estate agents, just as it has eliminated many other professions. Ironically, the exact reverse has been true so far. A National Association of Realtors (NAR) survey in 2001 revealed that 69% of the homebuyers nationwide purchased a residence with the assistance of a real estate agent. The remaining buyers were split evenly between buying directly from the previous owner (15%) and directly from a builder (15%). Fast-forward to 2013 and a similar survey discovered that 88% of all homebuyers had used real estate agents. They also determined that only 5% of the buyers bought directly from a For-Sale-By-Owner.
Did the Internet play a role? Most definitely . . . the Internet was where 37% of the buyers found their new home. In fact, 30% looked online for properties before they ever even contacted an agent. Clearly the Internet is the first stop for most buyers. Technology is aiding buyers like never before. Buyers can search for properties anywhere in the country. They can apply for loans, draw floor plans, check floodplains, and even digitally walk down the street to look at the neighbors’ homes. What they cannot get is the reassurance of knowing that they are in the hands of an experienced agent who will help guide them along the way. When making the largest buying decision of their lives, people need experts they can trust.
If you, or know someone you care about, have real estate questions please give me a call.
Jeff Stewart, CCIM Broker Associate
Stanberry & Associates, Realtors