Having been involved in the residential real estate business for 40 years, it’s remarkable the changes that have taken place. All of us in all the different professions and industries can say the same thing over that same period of time.
If I had to summarize the changes into a word or phrase, I would say “far more complicated”. Most buyers and sellers who have experienced buying or selling a home in the past few years would agree. Virtually every transaction has issues/problems that must be addressed and solved prior to closing. Our agents are certainly involved in sales, but the majority of their time is spent problem solving these issues.
These issues can arise for multiple reasons. Our industry has become highly regulated and we need to concern ourselves with disclosures, compliance, inspections, mortgage underwriting, etc, etc. Problem solving any one of these is a time consuming process, but as is often the case, many transactions have multiple moving parts. It’s easy to understand why buyers and sellers, who haven’t bought or sold in years, become surprised and or frustrated with the process. This is simply a result of a highly regulated industry.
The demand that has been placed on agents and brokers has increased significantly as a result of these changes. The term “sales agent” hardly applies anymore. Certainly we are involved in selling homes, but the time, effort and energy is really more applied to knowledge and problem solving. There is a real emotional component involved as well – one’s home and the financial aspects involved have always been a big part of home purchases and sales.
The criteria people use for selecting an agent and or broker, should be carefully thought through. You need someone with the knowledge and skills to guide you through the process in a competent manner. These transactions are all complicated, but they certainly don’t need to be painful.