In most reports about the gang-busters records set during the just-finished holiday shopping season,
a lot of attention was given to the shifting nature of buying and selling. Bricks-and-mortar businesses did
alright—but most of the gains in commercial activity were set online. No surprise, there—at least not to
the shops and big-box stores who’d seen it coming and built websites accordingly.
Those of us who labor in Boise real estate have long since adapted to the technology that empowers
consumers so successfully. It had once been argued that, by opening free public access to multiple listing
data and asking nothing in return, Realtors® were giving away the keys to the kingdom (and to our own
livelihoods!). When everyone can easily canvass Boise listings to find the properties that match their
specifications, what would be left for agents and brokers to contribute? Grim forecasts predicted the
inevitability of a downward spiral for the profession as a whole.
What has actually happened is a lesson in the danger of jumping to conclusions—and a sharpening
of perception about what’s most valuable in the buying and selling of Boise real estate. The preliminary
steps in that process are undeniably of great value—and the process of identifying fitting homes for sale
has become vastly more efficient by allowing buyers to scour the current listings. Being able to do it from
their own homes on their own schedule is just frosting on the cake. And it’s also now true that real
estate’s professionals are no longer indispensable in that process—at least in its preliminary stages.
That being the case, why do buyers still overwhelmingly decide to sign on with Boise real estate
agents when they’re committed to buying a house? Forbes magazine’s Real Estate Council member Tony
Acosta addressed that issue in a forward-looking essay on the value proposition real estate agents will
provide in the decade to come. His answer was detailed, but the main point can be summarized simply.
For buyers, it’s straightforward: having a licensed real estate professional in their corner means they are
spared having to master the complexities of the formal homebuying process. They can rest easy that no
overlooked detail will gum up the works, unnecessarily delaying or derailing the sale. For the Boise
homebuyer, having a pro on their team is nearly like having an insurance policy for the transaction. As for
the “value proposition”—it’s one that’s hard to beat. Since the agent’s commission is paid from the
seller’s proceeds, the value proposition is: it’s free!
Sellers have a set of more self-evident reasons—but that’s a discussion for another day. In the
meantime, when buying or selling a Boise home is in your sights, I hope you’ll give me a call!