he advent of the Internet has not been kind to people who made a living filling out forms and booking services for others. Think back to the last time you used a travel agent; for most of us, that was a long time ago, if ever. When you can just hop online and book your hotel and your flights yourself, there’s really no point in hiring someone to do it for you. The Internet is cutting down jobs from telephone operator and directory assistance positions all the way to travel agent, and now real estate agent has fallen by the wayside. Here’s why the real estate agent as we know it is about to fall.
The Internet Has Ruined the Exclusivity of a Real Estate Agent’s Contacts
Once upon a time there was no way for the average person to really get their home out there for sale. While real estate agents still hold the key to MSL (Multi Service Listing) lists which can be a big deal, the average home seller will do as much work listing their house for sale online than a real estate agent will.
Before the Internet, getting your home to run in all the local papers involved physically going to their offices and handing them a notice to print—or calling it in over the phone. Today you don’t have to submit to papers at all. There are dozens of sites where you can list your property for free from the comfort of your own home. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it doesn’t take a lot of effort. You used to pay a real estate agent’s commission because they were the ones doing all the work to get your home to sell. Now, you can handle it yourself.
A dedicated seller can also manage an open house by themselves. They can schedule property viewings and find out what they have to do legally to sell a home. The real estate agent is no longer the exclusive fount of knowledge.
The Internet Has Made It Easier to Learn about Real Estate
To learn about real estate before the advent of the Internet, you had to read a lot of books or take a lot of classes. You might as well become a real estate agent just to sell your own home. Today, not only is it easier than ever to access information it’s easier to figure out what you really need to know and what you don’t. Your real estate agent probably knows what you’d need to sell a home in a flood plain, but if your home isn’t in one there’s no need for you to know it. If it is, there are plenty of online articles that will bring you up to speed on how to inform potential buyers and what you have to disclose.
People who pay for a real estate agent are basically just paying for convenience at this point; people who are too busy to put in the time to read up on selling their home or organizing viewings themselves pay a lot of money to turn these chores over to someone else. There’s actually just one thing that a real estate agent has that most people these days need to sell their home.
MSL Flat Fee Services Are the Best Deal in Real Estate Services Left
Most homes sell because of a listing in the Multi Listing Service, or MSL. These agents only lists inform not only potential buyers but other real estate agents that something is one the market. With 77% of home buyers still using an agent to help them find a place, getting your home under the nose of other real estate agents even if you don’t use one yourself is essential.
Flat fee MSL listing pricing can vary, but typically costs a few hundred dollars—much less than the thousands in commission that hiring a real estate agent would cost. Until the Internet opens up MSL lists, flat fee MSL services are the best option for home sellers.