As the old saying goes..."Times change." That is never more true than with the real estate business. Back before there was internet marketing running ads in the newspaper for your home became a vital part of the selling process. Newspaper ads were vital in getting the word out that a property was for sale. Buyers were far less sophisticated and at the mercy of the local information that was available to them and that information was limited to their individual agent or brokerage that they were dealing with at the time. Buying a home back then could be a lot harder and depended greatly on brokerages to give out information.
Since the internet age the marketing of a well known product, like a house, has been dramatically streamlined and made easier. The internet has allowed organizations to easily gather information and sort it so that it can be easily viewed and analyzed. Everyone knows that if they want information on a certain topic they can "google it" and answers to their questions will magically appear before their eyes. As real estate professionals in Canada we enter listings into a large data base following strict guidelines that keeps track for past sales, expires, and active listings. We even made it easier for Buyers looking for homes to find them, no website is required, just an email account. In fact, properties that meet a Buyer's criteria can get emailed to them directly as soon as they hit the market or change in price.
Before the internet it was not hard to see where the value was in using a brokerage to sell your house. Today the value of real estate agents have shifted to analysis of the data that is now available and analysis of the buying processes itself. Today, just like in any established industry, the value of a good real estate agent is all about making the home buying process more efficient. There are a lot more options out there for the average buyer and a lot of potential risk they might run into. Prices of homes have dramatically gone up and there is an expectation of transparency from the public to insure that confidence remains as high as possible. It is now the real estate agents job to insure that Buyers are treated with VIP treatment and guided to make the right choice(s) when it comes their home purchase. Every buyer has their own needs that is based on their particular personality and lifestyle. As a sophisticated real estate agent I know it is in everyone's long term interest that they find a house that best meets their needs so that financial freedom and not hardship can be had through real estate ownership.
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