When I got my license 19 years ago the MLS was transitioning from printed books to an online format to advertise listings. People predicted that computers would revolutionize real estate and agents would be unnecessary within 5 years. And they have been saying that ever since.
Yes, the internet has changed the real estate landscape dramatically. Buyers virtually tour homes before deciding whether or not to get into their cars. Documents can be signed with the click of a mouse anywhere in the world. Pricing has become easier as data is more readily available.
But one thing hasn’t changed. The need for an agent.
My good friend Debbie shared a story with me about her buyer client who, while signing his loan documents the day before closing, sees that the paperwork has him taking title as a single person. He excitedly announces that he actually got married 2 weeks ago. His wife it out of the country and 3 days away from the closest embassy to sign the necessary paperwork! Seriously, we don’t make this stuff up.
Things like this happen more than you would think.
I just had a listing close after a 2 week delay. 5 days before closing the HOA casually mentioned that they are launching a lawsuit against the insurance company for water intrusion issues. The words “lawsuit” and “water intrusion” are like kryptonite for lenders. Everything came to a screeching halt. Fortunately, the buyer secured alternative financing, and we were able to close.
What to both of these scenarios have in common? They can not be solved by a computer algorithm. They take creative problem solving, an ability to negotiate with the other side while keeping all parties engages, and knowledge of the available options.
So while your clients may find their own house, or research their property value before they list with you, your value is no less important than it was 19 years ago.
In fact, I believe it is more so. With more information often comes more confusion. Your job is to zero in on the right solution for any given situation.
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