Click or Call?

The internet is changing how we do business. It has changed how we shop, how we communicate, how we book travel, and even how we watch TV. However, despite predictions to the contrary, it has not significantly changed how we buy and sell real estate. And for good reason.

With the advent of public listing sites such as Zillow, Trulia, and the National Association of Realtors’ own, many thought it would mean the beginning of the end for the real estate business as we know it, and that Realtors would be forced to find other work. That has not happened. On the contrary, the number of active real estate agents in California has increased by 13% over the past three years (California Bureau of Real Estate).

So why aren’t millennials choosing to shop for real estate the way they shop for most everything else? It all comes down to the same thing it always has for the real estate industry: trust. Anyone who has fallen in love with the “perfect home’’ in the peaceful neighborhood they saw online, only to discover it had a junkyard next door and didn’t live up to the hype of the online description knows that pictures don’t always tell the whole story. When purchasing a pair of shoes or booking a hotel room, it is not a devastating thing to realize you made a mistake in trusting the photos and online description. But when you are making what could possibly be the biggest financial decision of your life, there is no room for error. You can’t “return it for a full refund.”

That doesn’t mean buyers can’t look online! In fact, roughly 90% of homebuyers do at least some of their home searches online. But the deal isn’t done when the perfect property has been found. That’s when the agent’s job is just beginning! There are so many important factors that go into every real estate transaction; it is just too important to rely on the internet to tell you what you need to know. Just as you wouldn’t do a Google search to learn how to fix a transmission or perform surgery on your cat, it is really not a good idea to rely on online information to lead you through escrow.

Escrow is a very emotional time for both buyers and sellers, and emotions frequently get in the way of a smooth transaction, causing negotiations to break down and ultimately kill the deal. A good agent can not only give you the personal attention and advice you need, but can also be the voice of reason to help you navigate the emotional roller coaster safely, getting you to the ultimate goal of a closed deal.

Bottom line, the stakes are simply too high. You can’t just click. You have to call.


Cynthia Elizondo

CalBRE #: 01924853

Halcyon Real Estate Services