Do I Still Need a Real Estate Agent?

Real Estate Agent – A real estate agent is a licensed professional who represents buyers or sellers in real estate transactions. A real estate agent usually works on commission, being paid a percentage of the property’s sale price.

The Internet

Every few years the real estate industry welcomes another competitor that threatens to replace real estate agents with technology.

Most certainly, Redfin, Zillow,, and others have transformed real estate over the years. But people often ask the question – do I need a real estate agent?

Our answer probably won’t shock you since we are a real estate agency, but yes! Real estate agents still play a critical role in buying and selling real estate, no matter how convenient and quick the internet tools appear to be.

In fact, the convenience and speed the apps promote is the very reason why realtors are still so important.

G Stiles Real Estate Agents
G Stiles Real Estate Agents are independent experts.

Real estate transactions are highly detailed, relatively slow moving, complicated agreements that are filled with possible pitfalls. Working with a real estate agent can save you from big misunderstandings, disappointments, and financial disasters. When contracts and banks are involved, it is always wise to have a professional advisor working on your behalf.

That’s almost the definition of a realtor. Online real estate companies and tools work for themselves. Realtors work for you.

Another way to put it is that real estate transactions are about eliminating the unknowns. There are a lot of unknowns on the internet.

Let’s talk about accuracy and speed. It is common for agents who advertise on Zillow to get a phone call at 11 at night on a weekend. The call goes something like this: “Hi, I am calling from across the country, but I want to move to Oregon and I found this property on Main Street. It looks awesome. I can’t believe it’s only $25,000. I would like to know more about it.”

The realtor, who has received 25 calls on this property, knows that the location shares a boundary with a noisy, dusty junkyard and isn’t buildable due to an extreme slope.

On the app, the site looks amazing. In person, it’s a lemon. The realtor knows this. The app doesn’t.

Another common outcome is that a person will call on a property that has already sold, or has had a price change that the app hasn’t caught up with. It’s also common for listings on line to feature photos that purposely avoid showing problems.

In other words, starting with an app is almost like rushing to eat dessert and missing the entire meal.

A better way to go about finding the perfect property is to find a professional realtor first. Agents who have been in the business awhile will know what questions to ask before starting the search.

Your age and interests, hobbies, and a thousand other details determine the kind of property that will make you and your family happy. When an agent knows these things, it narrows the search, avoids long drives and disappointments, and saves everyone time.

In short, pictures and a price point don’t tell the whole story. Your realtor will.

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