As we approach a new decade, it is a good time to look back and reflect on how buying and selling real estate has changed over the past ten years. Similar to essentially every industry, technology has made a significant impact on real estate since 2010. In an age where it is becoming more and more accessible to shop for cars online, buy groceries online, and have anything shipped to your door-step the next day, it is no surprise that dozens of sites like Zillow and Trulia have seen a drastic increase in traffic and helped many Americans buy or sell a home. 

The special power that real estate agents once had of having exclusive access to large databases of home listings is now gone. Interested buyers or sellers can do three-quarters of the work on their own by finding homes that meet their requirements in the neighborhoods that they want to move to.

With all of this change, there is still one thing that remains constant in home buying: the 5-to-6 percent commission that real estate agents get when a home is sold. This is a chunk of change that in many cases is nearly equal to the value of a home seller’s vehicle. It’s a lot of money!

But still, in a time when we as consumers are flooded with an overwhelming amount of information whenever we shop for anything online, we recruit real estate experts to help us sift through the details. 

Real estate agents handle the phone communication that would be stressful phone tag for homeowners if they were to try to do it on their own as a part of their busy lives. If you are looking to sell, you will need to answer potential buyer phone calls, and if it takes you a day or two to set up a viewing time because of your busy work schedule or home life, the potential buyer may have moved on. 

Realtors also deal with large stacks of contract paperwork on a weekly basis. If you are buying independently and don’t do your full research, aren’t clear about the financing terms of a contract, or aren’t cleared for a mortgage, you could lose your deposit and fall into a legal mess. Real estate agents are experts in this field and can ensure that a home seamlessly transfers hands.

With the overwhelming number of new home buying sites, you might be surprised to hear that many of them are actually dependent upon realtors to close sales. Sites like Zillow have worked in conjunction with agents to pair interested buyers with local experts.

Many think that the traditional real estate agent is no longer needed. However, we are still waiting to see this change take place on a large scale across America. Home buying will always be the most complex and confusing transaction that most of us will make in our lives. Real estate agents provide a human connection, giving us local insight and experience that websites and apps cannot. We are proud to partner with some of the best realtors in the Tampa area who continually satisfy home buyers and sellers. If you are interested in working with us, please visit our application page