The Following Article is from the Spring 2012 Newsletter
In the old days, people used real estate agents to find them a house. Today, they use the Internet. Gone are the days of driving prospective buyers from house to house, often looking at dozens of homes, to find a suitable location and style of home to fit a buyer’s taste and budget.
An agent’s role working with sellers is still very much the same – list, advertise, show, negotiate, and facilitate escrow. The methods may be different, specifically the method of property exposure has moved focus from print to Internet, but the actual role is basically the same. A buyer’s agent, on the other hand, now has a much different set of requirements than they did in the past.
Buyer’s agents are expected to know the inventory better than ever. Buyers who are actively looking to buy a property spend hours on the internet scouring for anything that may interest them. Therefore, such buyers know the inventory and are really only looking to an agent to add value to their search.
Once a home is located and the offer process begins, the agent’s expertise and negotiating skills will come into play, but typically the buyer isn’t thinking that far ahead. Buyers need help in understanding the nuances of the properties they find, and are hoping to be presented with some properties that are not listed on line. A real estate agent in today’s market needs a high level of expertise and local area knowledge to be able to provide these added values.
When we do get in the car and see some properties, they are always pre-filtered and more likely to be something that will interest the buyer – showing buyers a house in a compromised location, in a hit or miss type of search, is no longer acceptable. If an agent can’t give their client strong and solid advice (advice that the client may not be able to achieve in a Google-search), then those buyers will most likely find another agent that can.
The point of all this is to help you understand what is important when beginning your search to find a home. Choosing your agent should be decided based on an agent’s ability to help you “beat the market,” by giving you an edge with their insight and knowledge of listed and unlisted inventory. The home court advantage has never been as relevant as it is in today’s market.