There have been lots of news articles written about why real estate agents still exist when every other form of broker (i.e. travel agents) seem to have been made obsolete by the internet. However, none of them ever seem to deliver any real insight or solution to the problem.
So why are real estate agents still around?
In a nutshell, it’s because buyers’ agents still dominate the home buyer market. Even though well over 90% of today’s home buyers may start their search online, they eventually end up purchasing their home through a buyer’s agent over 80% of the time.
In order to access buyers represented by agents, home sellers need a listing (or seller’s) agent with access to their local inter-broker database to offer a commission to buyers’ agents on the database. Both seller & buyer broker fees (typically 5-6%) are charged by the listing broker and paid by the seller.