According to the 2008 National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:
- 32% of buyers in 2008 said they first learned of the home they purchased by seeing it on the Internet, up from 29% in 2007, and from just 2% in 1997.
- 34% of buyers in 2008 said that they first learned of the home they purchased through a real estate agent, compared with 50% in 1997.
New Year Prediction: In the next year (2009), it is very likely that for the first time in history more buyers will find the home they purchase by seeing it first on the Internet rather than learning of it from a real estate agent.
Does this mean that real estate consumers will no longer need the services provided by REALTORS?
Many think this is so, however we differ on this conclusion.
In fact, we feel that with more homes on the market and fewer qualified buyers, agents with contract negotiation skills and who follow a disciplined process will be more important than ever. Yes, there are likely to be fewer full time agents over the next year, but those with the the applicable skill set will likely flourish in the current environment. Tough markets need skilled agents to get the job done, as every deal always has its own challenges.
In the past brokers flourished because they owned the MLS information, this is changing and we be may be entering an era where a lean staff of full time internet savvy agents will become the dominate force in the market place.