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Real Estate Websites Help Both Home Buyers and Brokers

Real Estate Websites Help Both Home Buyers and Brokers

Real Estate Websites Help Both Home Buyers and Brokers
According to Bloomberg, from 2001 to 2012, 42 per cent of buyers found their homes online. However, 89 per cent of them used the services of real estate brokers to buy them. (Dreamstime)

While real estate websites have been popular in the United States and other developed countries for long, the concept has caught up in India over the past decade and a half. According to Bloomberg, from 2001 to 2012, 42 per cent of buyers found their homes online. However, 89 per cent of them used the services of real estate brokers to buy them.

Throughout the world, according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the cost of brokerage services has remained fairly stable. This proves how brokers or advisors are valued by home buyers and sellers alike for closing real estate transactions.

Why are brokers important?

Brokers are known to market houses well, and let individual buyers know what is in store for them. They also help home buyers and sellers negotiate with each other. Given their art of negotiation, brokers perform a services that is not easily replaceable. The large databases of these real estate advisors make information on micro markets accessible to home buyers. These pieces of information are often intangible, and context-specific. It is not easy for an ordinary home buyer to study the marker in a short period of time. So, these resources prove handy for them. In short, brokers offer valuable services as they make transactions easier and faster for both buyers and sellers.

Economists have been wondering how real estate agents have been resilient for long in the face of changing dynamics of real estate sales. A broad consensus has not yet emerged, but many believe it is so because brokers are keen to sell off houses soon. There is also some evidence that houses sold through real estate brokers fetch a lower price for the seller than usual. But, strangely, even in the US, only a small minority of the houses are sold directly by owners.

The fact is perhaps that people do not view buying a home as a simple transaction. Human psychology may explain partly why people need the human element in large-scale transactions. Brokers are here to stay, and these days both brokers and home buyers are benefitting from internet portals.

Websites are a treasure of information

Internet portals make far more information available than brokers of the past did. Brokers benefit from the facts made available by real estate portals. With years – even decades – of experience, brokers are able to interpret the information on real estate websites.

Real estate websites make a large part of the home-buying process more virtual and automated than in the past. They help tailor information to unique needs of people by allowing sorting of properties according to price, number of bedrooms, safety and livability score, besides many other parameters. Armed with such information, brokers are able to assist buyers more efficiently, with greater professionalism.

The brokers who get more leads tend to make more money. As many Indians see real estate as an investment avenue, brokers who are able to judge the risks and benefits associated with investing in property in a certain neighbourhood are able to guide their customers better. This was more of a wild goose chase before the advent of real estate websites. But when you can sort property by various parameters, the process becomes much easier for brokers. With these tools to process the information and tailor it for unique needs of their clients, brokers are among the people who benefit the most from real estate websites.

Brokers also have localised information that are often not in the public domain. They may know the whole complexity of the situation when a person is about to quickly sell off a house. They are also in a better position to analyse information provided by real estate websites. If a new Metro line is about to come up in certain parts of Noida, for example, a broker who has been studying the market for decades will be able to help home buyers make the right decision. A skilled broker could help home buyers by sorting properties that will benefit from such an infrastructure development, especially when the buyers do not have enough time to go through the whole process.

Last Updated: Sat Jun 18 2016

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