Editor's note: This special four-part series will explore who controls the average real estate transaction, who or what is challenging and changing that central role and how it impacts the industry and consumers. (See Part 1: Realtors have the power, Part 3: Web pushes realty agents out of spotlight and Part 4: Lenders woo and sidestep real estate agents for customers.) A lot of hands go up when home buyers and sellers start asking questions. And those hands are grabbing for their business. Traditional brokers say agents are not always the first point of contact for consumers these days, but they want to ensure that the agent will ultimately remain at the core of the real estate transaction. Judith Clausen, broker-owner of Buyers Advantage Real Estate of Metro Denver, said agents must stay on top of technology in order to stay relevant to consumers. Without technological savvy, "real estate agents will not be the first point of contact for consumers. Web sites will be," she...
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