There Will Always be Realtors
By Jamie Regan, REALTOR, CCIAOR President
On a recent Sunday, the Cape Cod Times ran a syndicated column from the west coast suggesting a diminished role for real estate agents in the Internet Age. While there may be a trend in that direction in California, here in the east – and especially on Cape Cod and the Islands – Realtors remains an invaluable linchpin between home buyers and sellers.
No matter how sophisticated the online listings become, a trained, knowledgeable and experienced agent will always make the difference between a successful purchase and sale, and the risk of a transaction falling apart.
With the daily demands of work and family, the prospective home seller and buyer are short on research time. They will always benefit from the guidance of a Realtor who has “been there, done that” hundreds or even thousands of times. With a personalized touch, Realtors provide property research and disclosures, sales comparisons and data that foster objective decision-making. And they operate under a strict code of ethics.
What’s more, this challenging economy has presented new opportunities to the buyer and seller. Federal lawmakers realize that the way back from recession is through a rejuvenated housing market. Thus they have enacted a new $8,000 tax credit (often with the money up front) to encourage first-time homebuyers to invest now, while home prices are deeply discounted.
Realtors are schooled to understand mortgage financing, and they know where local loan money can be found. Because they live and work here, Realtors know about the quality of schools and tax rates from one town to another. They can assist with obtaining legal forms, inspections and most of all, offers and counter-offers.
Anyone who has been through the purchase and sale process knows the comfort of having an experience professional by your side. Timing is everything in life – and in real estate – and one bad move made on your own could result in calamity and the potential loss of thousands of dollars.
A recent survey by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors showed that a commanding percentage of all home buyers were helped by a Realtor. In fully half the transactions, Realtors served clients by pointing out unnoticed features or faults with properties they wanted to buy.
Here on Cape Cod, there are about 1,000 homes now available for less than $300,000 and a few hundred for around $200,000. These present historic opportunities for first-time buyers and second homeowners to realize their long-held dream of home ownership on Cape Cod. What once was thought to be an impossible dream is, in fact, achievable in 2009.
Why would anyone not seize this moment without skilled professional help? By going online to MLS, prospective buyers can find a local Realtor and see houses that are currently open for inspection. In the Internet Age, online resources and local Realtors have become a priceless team.