Do you still need a LIVE real estate agent?

Beach Realty and Costruction Agent of the Year 2012As the article I read recently proclaims, America’s favorite springtime sport does not involve a stadium, peanuts or cracker jacks. It is browsing the real-estate market.

Zillow is a great tool if you’re a novice to the market and just want to look around an area, city, or use a zip code to look at property. However from my recent experiences with several clients there is nothing that beats a good agent.

Buying a house is really hard work these days.  Between flood insurance issues, the never ending and increasingly more difficult lending process, navigating the 11 plus addenda page legal contract, and the home inspection issues that arise…going this process without a proven professional will ONLY result in frustration and a deal not closed.

The fact is, YOU already have a full time job.  So do I…dealing with all of these issues.  It used to be that we would advertise, find a buyer, negotiate the terms and then turn it over to the attorney to close in 30 days.  Boy those were the days!  Not today.  I’m finding that I’m more needed in the transaction at day 20 to 45 than even before negotiation.

Sadly most of the lending problems don’t show up until the last minute.  The flood insurance issues don’t pop up until the appraisal is done and elevation certificate is issued or turned over.  It’s not the same to buy a house today, as it was when I started my career nearly 18 years ago.  We had a simple 2 page contract then!

Zillow is not in a position to assist with any of these issues.  Only a full time, professional real estate agent with lots of experience is going to be able to successfully navigate the way from contract to closing.  Finding the buyer is the easy part…getting the deal closed is where the blood, sweat and tears come in.

Financially Zillow looks even less attractive, at least to me. They are expected to lose 27 million this year. A loss that is double of last year. Wall Street loves the stock and it has done well for many but a company losing double of last year’s earnings is not for me.

In my humble opinion, you cannot beat the real life experience of a live real estate agent.