…Much More Than Just a Sale
As the internet continues to permeate into seemly every facet of our lives, more and more industries are finding themselves competing with online counterparts for consumers’ business. Cashiers share a workspace with self-checkout registers, customer service agents work in tandem with automated customer care bots, and REALTORS® now compete for listings with iBuyers.
While these newcomers to the real estate business aren’t robots, they are relatively hands-off internet buyers. iBuyers, a term shortened from instant-buyers, are seeming to take housing markets across the country by storm. These iBuyers purchase homes without in-person contact, making the transaction much quicker but often presenting below-market offers. Major players in this game include Open Door, Zillow Offers, Redfin and Offerpad. The question is, are these virtual buyers really any competition for the level of service provided by an experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy REALTOR®?
In short, the answer is no. Professionals in the real estate business often times have spent years in the markets they specialize in and have taken the time to learn the ins and outs of various communities they buy and sell in. This knowledge is used to help match buyers and sellers with the perfect neighborhood, home, and environment for their individual needs. Understanding the housing market in a particular location also helps REALTORS® assist sellers in accurately pricing their homes. Both buying and selling a home is an important financial decision. Having a professional to guide you through the process could be the difference between getting your home’s full value or getting less money than you could have.
Further, the difference between a REALTOR® and just any old real estate agent, is that a certified REALTOR® is part of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). According to NAR, the Code of Ethics “is what separates REALTORS® from non-member real estate agents.” New members agree to abide by NAR’s Code of Ethics & Professional Standards, which outlines duties to clients, the public and to other REALTORS®. Members attend an orientation and continued education throughout their membership.
REALTORS® act as trusted advisors. The REALTOR® you use to buy your first home can also be who you use when considering investing in a second home. REALTORS® build relationships with their clients and help them locate the best neighborhood for their lifestyle, home for themselves or their family, or even the best sushi restaurant in your new town. Your REALTOR® is your personal consultant whose number one goal is to help you achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.
“Selling your home to an iBuyer is a convenience play. But this convenience comes at a cost, as the iBuyer business model is to pay sellers less than the true market value of their home, then re-sell it for a higher price,” says Diane Clow, a REALTOR® at LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. “Good REALTORS® have a real pulse on the market. They know what buyers are looking for and know how to best stage, photograph, and present your home, and know what price the market will bear for your property. An experienced REALTOR® can help you get top-dollar at sale time.”
The purchase or sale of a home is not something that should be taken lightly. Don’t take the risk of trusting an online entity to look out for your best interest. Only a professional REALTOR® can provide the level of service that all sellers and buyers deserve.