A survey conducted last year by the National Association of Realtors showed that 90% of buyers used the Internet to search for their new home. That’s really not surprising; online home listings place all the tools right at buyers’ fingertips. Consumers can view multiple homes quickly and easily—without ever having to contact an agent.
The amount of accessible information on the internet has certainly given buyers a sense of empowerment. Many believe something along the lines of, “I can do this on my own! It’s all online! I’ll save myself the 3% I’d have to spend on an agent’s commission. Win-win!”
That sounds great in theory, but anyone who has tried to negotiate the purchase of a new home without help will likely agree that going it alone is, frankly, a rookie mistake. Every home buyer needs an advocate who knows how to play the real estate game.
However empowered buyers might feel it is crucial to not discount the importance of a real estate agent. Agents still play an invaluable role in the home search and buy process. They offer an informed opinion on pricing and can tackle the mountain of paperwork that accompanies buying a new home. They will also serve as a powerful negotiator, particularly since their decisions will not be emotionally driven.
So while it’s perfectly reasonable to go online to start your new home search, don’t tackle the rest alone. Bring in the big guns to do the dirty work, and let an agent lend their expertise to save you the headache.
By Claire Schreiber, an analyst for Move New Homes.