Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

Homebuying is a fraught experience, but some say technology can help even this old school field. I checked out a few companies trying to change the game. ~*C

Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Andrea Chang
Published: 30 September 2016, Los Angeles Times

Real estate agents used to be privy to a lot of information that home buyers couldn’t obtain on their own.

But now property listings, photo galleries, historic sales prices, school ratings and neighborhood crime rates are freely accessible to anyone with just a few clicks. For some assertive buyers, that’s an invitation to bypass an agent and, in the process, cut out the pesky 5% to 6% commission that is traditionally split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.

To help buyers go it alone, or close to it, several real estate start-ups have emerged that promise an easier solution to a notoriously stressful and expensive purchase. By eliminating or limiting an agent’s role, customers save money and streamline the process.

It’s also leading to tensions with the hundreds of thousands of real estate agents around the country, who say the companies are shortsighted and overlook the skills that a professional agent can offer. [read more]

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