An insider’s knowledge
“There’s Zillow and Trulia and so many third-party sites out there where you can gather information,” says Tom Bezanes, a broker with Baird & Warner. “In the old days, you went to buy a car and you said go see my friend and he’ll give you a great deal on a Chevy. And you went and that relationship helped you get the best price. Now, people walk in and they know exactly how much they should pay for that Chevy because of all of that information.”
But while consumers have access to all this information, they may not understand how to use it or how to best navigate the intricacies of the homebuying process. The NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report found that buyers still need help with the search process and negotiations. Sellers need assistance with marketing, pricing and selling within a given timeframe. Making clients aware of everything that the process entails and how much effort is expended on their behalf can be challenging.
“For buyers, anybody could set up an automated search and then sit back and wait,” says Deborah Hess, Realtor with CONLON/Christie’s International Real Estate. “I think a lot of Realtors just sit back and wait as well, whether it’s with their buyers or with their sellers. For their clients, that sort of leads the process.”
Instead, Hess takes the lead in her client relationships. She worked with a couple last year who were looking for a home in the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood on the North Side. She had been working with them for about six months and they were beginning to grow frustrated with the process.
“I said ‘What can I do?’ and I started networking,” Hess says. “My tagline for my business is ‘real estate with the inside information.’ Networking with other Realtors in the neighborhood, or in this case one of my colleagues at CONLON, who, by putting the word out and letting people know exactly what I was looking for, helped find their home.”