RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

AUG 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE August 2019 53 But with all due respect to consum- ers who try to go it alone—and those in the industry who encour- age consumers to go it alone—it's a terrible idea. DIY real estate is on par with DIY surgery or DIY legal defense. When so much is at stake, it's always best to have a professional on your side. Period. That certainly applies to the largest financial transaction of a per- son's life. The good news is that most buy- ers and sellers agree. MOST PEOPLE AGREE The National Association of REAL- TORS®' 2018 Profile of Home Buy- ers and Sellers report notes that 87 percent of the buyers in the survey used an agent or broker, while anoth- er 6 percent purchased directly from a builder or builder's agent. That leaves only 7 percent who made their purchase without the guidance of a professional. The figure on the selling side is similar: 91 percent of the surveyed sellers worked with an agent. For- -sale-by-owner properties account- ed for just 7 percent—the lowest share since the annual study be- gan in 1981. GEN Z WEIGHS IN It's worth noting that the value of an agent crosses generational lines. A recent Homes.com survey of more than 1,000 adult Gen Zers (aged 18 - 24) showed that nine in 10 plan to use an agent when the time comes to house-hunt. It's telling that this group—the most digitally inclined generation yet—understands that buying a house isn't as simple as purchasing a commodity, arranging a ride or planning a trip. The risks are exponentially higher. The fact is, there's much more to a successful transaction than meets the eye. It can all seem so simple, especially with online home search being what it is today, but there's a big difference between seeing a great home online and walking in the front door as its new owner. An expert real estate agent can provide guidance an app can't touch—and, at the same time, provide all the value and data that can be found on the app. IN THE RIGHT HANDS Technology provides all sorts of ad- vantages, but in the end, it's a tool. Technology in the hands of an expert agent, though, becomes much more. That's when data meets real-life in- stinct, insight and local knowledge. That's when agents deliver their irre- placeable value by negotiating, work- ing through contingencies, being a voice of reason and guiding clients through a long, complicated process. The real estate industry is clear- ly targeted for disruption, and we should all celebrate innovation that elevates the customer experi- ence and raises the standard. At the same time, make no mistake— nothing in practice or on the horizon matches the value delivered by a great agent who's armed with great technology. That remains an un- beatable combo. RE Adam Contos is CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. For more information, visit www.remax.com. Buy or Sell Without an Agent? No Thanks! by Adam Contos A lthough the vast majority of U.S. home sales involve real estate agents, the notion in the industry that consumers would be fine buying or selling a home without one is not really a new one. After all, the for-sale-by-owner route has been an option forever, and other industries have shifted to a "buy-it- now" mentality that some suggest will fit real estate, too. {Business Building}

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