• It only makes sense that something as complicated as a real estate transaction is spearheaded by someone with sufficient knowledge of the process.
  • Agents' value is not necessarily determined by their ability to show properties, but rather their ability to confirm or deny that respective buyers are following the right steps.
  • Truly great real estate agents will not allow themselves to be defined by one single parameter.
  • A good real estate agent is a secure investment; there is a good chance he or she will save you more money than you end up paying.

The advent of technology has called into question the need for real estate agents. Not unlike the once-prominent travel agency, online portals are attempting to relegate real estate agents to a thing of the past.

However, I am here to tell you that real estate agents are more necessary today than they have ever been.

Our reliance on technology has made many complacent; they think finding their dream home is as simple as using the internet.

Every real estate transaction, whether you are buying or selling, is wrought with potential for setback. However, real estate agents are the best way to mitigate any complications that might arise over the course of a deal; their services are more valuable than many give them credit for.

At the very least, a great real estate agent will see to it that deals are carried off without a hitch, but they are capable of offering even more for these four reasons.

1. Selling is more complicated than many anticipate

Outside of the most accomplished real estate investors and those who have been fortunate enough to live the American dream, it’s safe to assume that selling a house is one of the largest financial obligations many will be confronted with.

The size of the transaction alone is enough to warrant some trepidation, and at the very least, some second guessing. It’s only natural to question such a momentous occasion; it’s a safety measure of sorts.

David Reiss, a law professor at Brooklyn Law School, acknowledges that even the average real estate transaction is financially momentous and complex — the most complex transaction people do in their life.

Showing image via Shutterstock.

Showing image via Shutterstock.

People have a tendency to fear that which they don’t understand, and few are well-versed in the selling process, which would explain why homeowners covet the assistance of a professional real estate agent.

“People like having an expert when dealing with large, complicated transactions,” founder of Vespula Capital, Jeff Tomasul said. Vespula Capital is an investment management company based in Greenwich, Connecticut. “Why do people still have financial advisers? They want someone who does it full-time to make sure they are not doing anything wrong.”

Today’s sellers appreciate the peace of mind a well-equipped real estate agent can offer and are more than willing to spend a little extra for someone else to dot all of the i’s and cross all of the t’s. With so much on the line, it only makes sense that such a complicated matter is spearheaded by someone with a sufficient knowledge of the process.

2. Buying isn’t easier without an agent

Not unlike selling, the prospect of acquiring a home has become synonymous with an overwhelmingly complicated process. Those who have yet to purchase their first home are most likely unaware of just how much work will ensue.

Even those who have purchased a house before are probably less familiar with the process than they would expect. There are simply too many steps to account for, each of which must be carried out in a specific manner. It’s not a coincidence that real estate agents are still a hot commodity, despite the encroachment of online portals.

Buying a house is one of the largest financial commitments a person will make in a lifetime, and those committing to purchase will appreciate the eye of a trained professional.

“They can hold your hand through the process,” Reiss explained. “They might say, ‘This lender takes a long time, so put in your contract immediately, and sign this and that paper, and get all this stuff ready before you’re walking over hot coals with the lender for money.’”

Most millennial buyers, for that matter, don’t need an agent to find them the right property; they do all the research ahead of time online.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for first-time buyers to provide their agents with a list of homes they want to see.

In today’s market, agents’ value is not necessarily determined by their ability to show properties, but rather their ability to confirm or deny that respective buyers are following the right steps.

3. Agents are in touch with the local market and its players

It’s far too easy to relegate real estate agents to the ubiquitous home search; it is, after all, what they are best known for.

However, truly great real estate agents won’t allow themselves to be defined by one single parameter. The more diversified their talents are, the more they will be able to help others and their bottom line.

There is one asset the best real estate agents covet more than anything else: market knowledge. A proper education pertaining to a particular region has the power to open up more doors than any other tool or characteristic.

As it turns out, that knowledge benefits their clients tenfold. You could very easily argue that real estate agents’ knowledge alone is enough to make them invaluable.

I can say with confidence that the best agents come complete with an inherent ability to understand a local market and its respective players. That means they have a good idea of how the local market will look in a day, a month and even a year down the road.

“The agent knows the market intimately, even more than a pretty informed resident,” Reiss said. And all that knowledge saves time.

“Tracking sales, knowing listings, spending a lot of shoe leather on houses already for sale — right off the bat, they know more than the ordinary Joe and Jane. They understand condo boards and title companies. As a player in the game, they know what the other players are looking for and how to deliver.”

No matter how capable you are at searching for properties, or even buying and selling them, it is nearly impossible to replicate the aptitude for market knowledge great real estate agents demonstrate.

4. The best agents are worth their weight in gold

At the risk of sounding redundant, there is a reason the best real estate agents are still highly sought after. In a world where home searches are just a click away, agents have found ways to diversify their talents and remain extremely relevant.

No longer are real estate agents simply a vehicle to buy and sell homes; they facilitate an overly complicated process.

Having invested in real estate for more than a decade, I am more than capable of acquiring and selling properties.

However, the expertise a good real estate agent brings to the table is more than worth the cost of doing business.

The average commission real estate agents receive upon completing a transaction is nothing to scoff at; expensive sales can result in some lucrative paydays.

However, the price tag is well worth it when you consider how much time and money they will save you.

There is no reason to suspect the money you expend on hiring a real estate agent won’t be returned with expertise; an agent’s knowledge alone could save you thousands of dollars upfront.

I like to think of a good real estate agent as a secure investment; there is a good chance he or she will save you more money than you end up paying for the services.

The advent of technology has certainly made it easier for the average person to commence a home search or even sell property for that matter.

It’s entirely possible to browse hundreds of listings in a given area with the click of a single button. What else could you possibly need?

The answer is simple: the human touch. Online valuation sites are a great place to start your home search, but they will never be able to replicate the value a truly gifted real estate agent can bring to the table.

Than Merrill is the founder and CEO of FortuneBuilders and CT Homes. Connect with Than on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @ThanMerrill.

Email Than Merrill.

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