Pretty much any market that required a broker has been taken over by the Internet. This includes paying sizable fees for an agent’s services. However, there are a few companies out there trying to get rid of this “middle man” in real estate.
Allre, based in San Diego, is a company that is trying to make real estate easier. Usually buying a home includes house visits, finding a good realtor, negotiations and a number of other steps. It can be stressful. However, Allre has made it possible to make all of the steps available on the Internet from the comfort of your own home. You can complete an entire real estate transaction (selling or buying) without an agent and without even leaving your home.
To sell your home, you simply list it. Each seller is verified and has a note from their bank about selling their property. To buy a home, you have three options: Instabuy, traditional offer or real-time negotiation. Instabuy is like the “one click” buy offered by Amazon. You can click, buy and it is done. A traditional offer gives the buyer an option to offer a number higher or lower than the asking price. The real-time negotiation is a guided negotiation between seller and buyer online. The best part? It is free!
Another online real estate company, eMoov, has been making waves in the United Kingdom as far as real estate goes. You can get a free evaluation of your home through the website. You can also post your home for sale. Unlike traditional real estate sales, the website charges a flat fee for all of its customers. You can pay this fee at the point of the sale or prior to selling your home. eMoov has been a leader in helping its customers save money when looking for a home.
Tepilo, available through teplio.com, was a traditional real estate agency to begin with. However, in 2013, it relaunched its services as “online only.” This has a more traditional feel to the online real estate fad. Tepilo has people communicate with real people through their website. They make appointments for phone conversations and email back-and-forth in order to help their customers buy or sell their homes. Tepilo’s customers have left outstanding reviews of the the company’s services and many of them said they’d never go back to a traditional real estate company again.
Technology has changed just about every market out there. Some companies have completely disappeared from their prospective markets. It is likely that this will happen in the world of real estate as well. With more and more people wanting to do their bidding online, more real estate agencies will have to bend to comply with the popular demand.
What do you think? Would you use an online real estate agent?
Photo: Flickr: Mark Moz