BOULDER – The rise of the Internet has made nearly every transaction faster, smarter, and – in many cases – less personal. Who could argue that ordering goods off Amazon has the same human element as heading to your local market? While the Internet’s ability to automate and simplify processes makes life more convenient in many respects, some members of the real estate industry fear that it could make our jobs obsolete. After all, consumers now have free access to information that used to be impossible to find or required an agent’s help. Now, with a few clicks, processes that were once complicated and time-consuming become quick and easy. A recent article in The Washington Post claims that the Internet will never replace realtors. Here’s why:
Real estate is confusing
Hundreds of pages of paperwork, contracts, clauses, disclosures…home buying and selling are massive financial transactions, and there are lots of complications that professionals know inside and out. You could try to figure it out yourself, but most people don’t want to take that kind of risk on what could be the largest financial transaction of their lives.
Home buying and selling happens Infrequently
While some buyers or sellers may be initially wary of the commissions associated with hiring a realtor, the decision often makes more sense once they realize that buying or selling a home only happens once every 12 to 13 years. Intimidated consumers continue to turn to agents for help because they know this is a process worth investing in. It’s a small price to pay to ensure that you make a sound decision that will last for the next decade or more.
The human element
The most important reason why Realtors will continue to have the upper hand on the Internet is the human element. As we stated above, home buying and selling is confusing. It is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make, and you want to be sure that you are well-informed. You need someone to turn to with questions, to write a contract, to anticipate what’s coming on the market, and to coach you through the process. There’s a human element to buying and selling a home that simply can’t be replaced by a computer.
In many cases, technology is actually improving the services that Realtors provide to their clients. With apps that can quickly scan closing documents, write contracts, accept digital signatures, keep tabs on sales leads, and take high-quality photos and videos, realtors and clients appreciate the new technologies that allow them to work better together.
By Jennifer Egbert, RE/MAX Alliance
Jennifer Egbert is a Realtor at RE/MAX Alliance Downtown in Boulder and specializes in Luxury neighborhoods, home builders and current market conditions. To learn more about the Boulder real estate market, visit jenniferegbert.com, e-mail [email protected] or call 303.619.3373.