Fleetwood Mac put it well when they sang, “You can go your own way.”
The way people buy real estate has—like any other purchase or process—changed over time as new technologies and cultural shifts have come along. For example, in 1981, 22% of prospective home buyers started out by combing through newspaper ads, while 8% relied on word of mouth to learn about homes coming on the market. Fast forward to 2018, and 44% of buyers looked for properties online first. The percentage of people who start their search online is increasing every year. It’s easy to imagine there will soon come a point when online is just about the only place real estate searches happen.
And beyond that initial search process, more and more aspects of the homebuying experience are moving online. For example, more buyers are using online services like MassRealty to skip the traditional real estate agent path. In 2018, buyers worked with an agent 87% of the time to find their home. That may seem high, but it also means a full 13% are going their own way—and often reaping the rewards by taking control of their search and keeping money in their own pockets.
While many people today still rely on traditional real estate agents to help them purchase homes, real estate agents often make a good sum of money on the transaction, sometimes for doing very little work. Much of the work that real estate agents do can be done just as easily—and in many cases more efficiently—by the homebuyer.
While it’s necessary to have some professionals on your team—a licensed real estate agent to process the actual sale, an attorney, lender, etc.—the traditional route takes money out of the pockets of homebuyers, who often do most of the search and preparation legwork anyway.
Taking advantage of the community-powered real estate platform MassRealty provides can enable first-time home buyers (and, in fact, all home buyers) to find the homes of their dreams and get money back in their pockets at the end.