This study confirms what we already know. Sellers who use Realtors sell their homes for 16% on average more than sellers who try to sell their own home for the same types of home. This more than pays the fee, not to mention the time, effort, and money spent advertising. It also helps to close the first deal instead of the 3rd or 4th, and it make for less stress throughout the process. These are all facts and have been documented for years.

A reporter asked me why a buyer would use a Realtor given that so much information is available via the Internet. My response was this:

Even with all the sources available on the Internet, you can still only get about 60% of what you need to know. Even if you were able to obtain the 60%, you’d have to do it on each and every property to make the best decision, and the best proeprties would be long gone by the time you did all that. Once you go for all this information, it becomes information overload and analysis paralysis. Buyers resort to using a professional to sort through the maze of tangible data.

Then there’s the intangible data people look to a professional for. Questions like, What used to be here before this development, what is the zoning across the street, what will my house back up to, what is the reputation of the builder, what is the quality of construction, will this home be hard to resell, will the roads get busier, what is the reputation of the schools, what types of financing are available to me, should I buy this home or one of the others we looked at, etc… The list goes on and on.

Buyers want to make the best decision for their family. 77% of buyers look to the Internet first when shopping for a home. Internet buyers tend to be more sophisticated, and they don’t like un-answered questions by their very nature. They love to use the Internet to do as much research as they can, and they don’t settle for unanswered questions. These are the very people who realize they need a qualified agent the most.

More buyers are selecting their agents from the Internet. They’re looking for reputation, responsiveness, and product knowledge. We’ll profile Internet buyers more in a subsequent post.

Brett Ellis is an E-Pro Certified Realtor.