The number of buyers who start their real estate search on the Internet has grown to over 90 percent. Yet, interestingly, the number of transactions involving a real estate agent has actually increased over the years from 77 percent in 1991 to 88 percent in 2014.
This increase may be contrary to the assumption that the Internet would replace agents in the process of buying or selling a home. Instead, they have become more necessary over the years as transactions have become more involved and difficult.
Of the 12 percent of for-sale-by-owners who were successful, half sold to someone they already knew (neighbor, friend, family, etc.), so only 6 percent were successful on the open market. National statistics also show that homes sold for 23 percent less when a broker was not involved.
Pricing a home correctly – especially in changing markets – can be difficult without professional help. Also, buyers usually offer less for a home that is not listed with a real estate agent and justify the price by claiming the seller will not have to pay a commission. So the seller nets the same price and does all the work involved in the process.
Studies show that 71 percent of all real estate litigation is a result of at least one party not being represented in the transaction. This is far more than any other group in real estate.
Procuring a buyer for your home is only the beginning of the process. The standard real estate contract is now 14 pages long, not including disclosures.
Each year, state and federal legislatures address changes to lending, housing construction codes and safety issues. Recently Colorado passed a law requiring that any home that is being marketed for sale must meet rules requiring carbon monoxide detectors. The federal government has made substantial changes regarding disclosures that must be made to and from lenders by buyers and sellers.
Safety issues should concern sellers when allowing strangers into their home as well. Assuming buyers want to make an offer, the seller will have to determine that they are qualified and that the lender is legitimate.
Issues arising from title work and inspections must be resolved and addressed. When rural properties are involved, problems may surface regarding well and septic permits and installation. There are even times when the property was illegally subdivided and the new buyer finds out after closing. Your broker will know how to solve these issues.
Every year, new issues come to the surface and new laws are implemented. Real estate agents are able to stay abreast of these changes through mandatory continuing education and help from industry groups.
Gina Piccoli is a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Heritage House Realtors in Durango. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org