Real estate agents are leaving the business, and while that’s not front page news anymore considering the last five years, it is relevant to both buyers and sellers. In 2008 Sequim had 258 real estate agents, and now (April of 2012) we have only 107 real estate agents. Let’s do the math. That means we only have 41% of the agents we had, which is nearly a 60% loss of agents. Here’s a coincidence for you. While I was finishing typing that last sentence I got a call from a homeowner whose home I showed a month ago. He called to tell me that his listing agent left just the brokerage. Amazing. He also told me that his listing has been terminated, and he wants to relist his home with another company at a $50,000 price reduction. He’s not my client, so I did not feel comfortable telling him over the phone that his home was overpriced by $100,000, not $50,000. I did share that with his listing agent when I showed the home, but either his listing agent did not communicate that to him, or he simply did not believe it. This is a perfect example of why a homeowner’s home has not sold and why his own agent is starving. She can’t earn a commission trying to sell an overpriced home in a recession. No wonder so many real estate agents are leaving the business!
Real Estate Agents Closing Doors
These real estate agents did close their doors. This was one of the largest real estate offices in Clallam County, and the owners were evicted from the building. They didn’t have enough business, and their traditional bricks-and-mortar business model could not survive this recession. That’s certainly unfortunate for them. For consumers, buyers and sellers, there is a bigger picture of change occurring. It is slowly transforming into something much more consumer friendly, efficient, and much more oriented to addressing the best interests of the consumer in an honest way. Consider how incredibly easy it is for you as a buyer to search all the homes in the MLS online 24/7 from the comfort of your own home without talking to any high pressure salesmen, or how easy it is to do your due diligence online to find a competent and professional and trustworthy buyer’s agent. You can now do tremendous research online at absolutely no cost about a home, it’s history, the previous prices paid for the home, the tax assessment, and much more. All of this substantially reduces the need to consumers of a large bricks-and-mortar building full of sales people.
Real Estate Agents Go Virtual
If you consider this real estate blog alone has over 1,100 articles about Sequim real estate, an MLS search buyers can use 24/7, and dozens of powerful online tools for them to research and do their due diligence on Sequim homes before they ever arrive in Sequim, and that they can do all of these things without being forced to register, you can see why I could say just based on this that I have the largest virtual real estate office in the county and maybe the state. During the calendar year of 2011 over 315,000 prospective buyers used this real estate blog to search for and find their retirement home in Sequim. My articles were read over 1.6 million times. In light of how buyers love to use the Internet and free powerful tools to help them, it’s not hard to understand why so many of the big offices are closing their doors. Not only is their overhead ridiculously high, but their business model and sales approach no longer caters to buyers’ real needs.
Real Estate Agents Not So Physical
I do have a physical office, but clients don’t care about a physical office any more. Why should they? Sellers want me to come to their homes, and buyers are interested in driving around and looking at homes, not sitting in an office. In fact, my clients seem to prefer meeting at Starbucks and enjoying a cup of coffee as we prepare to look at homes on their filtered list. This is why I’ve spent so much time and money building so many powerful tools on the Internet for buyers. Not all real estate agents get it, but buyers get it and they love it.
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