I have been a member of Quora for some time now, but like a lot of sites I join, I haven’t participated much. But lately I’ve been spending more time on the site, and I came across a Quora question asking if real estate agents will become obsolete. Since real estate agency is my bread and butter, I started reading the thread. There’s a variety of perspectives on this, but one reply I found particularly interesting, written by a former real estate attorney, which read in part:
In addition to the inherent complexities of even the most run-of-the-mill real estate transaction and the tremendous financial stakes involved, real estate transactions are emotional. You’re not dealing with a lawn mower, a refrigerator, or some other fungible good, you’re dealing with someone’s home–a place where the seller’s memories were made and where the buyer wishes to make new ones. This is a highly personal transaction, and the potential for doubt, insecurity, second-guessing, mistrust, defensiveness, cold feet, confusion, paranoia, and, therefore, conflict is extremely high. The role of realtors throughout this process is invaluable.
Go ahead and read the whole reply, or even read the whole thread (although it’s kind of long). I found it very interesting because often times the debate about the value of Realtors centers around marketing, and how today a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) can do so much marketing on their own, further diminishing the value of having it handled by a professional. While professional marketing is very important, the value of an agent in terms of keeping the deal together – and fighting for his client’s interests – is rarely considered by people thinking of selling their home by owner.