Please assign a menu to the primary menu location under menu

The Role of the Real Estate Agent is Changing


Real Estate Agent with REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF BRE #01824145



July 18, 2014 11:20 PM

The Role of the Real Estate Agent is Changing

There has been discussion among brokers and agents that real estate agents are going the way of the travel agent.  Some of my experiences assisting home buyers, in particular, with the purchase of their new home, whether for personal residence or investment, have indicated possibly this is true.

I have paid attention to the grumblings of my real estate peers that we are going the way of the travel agent, and dutifully have considered a backup plan – just in case it becomes a reality real estate agents won’t be needed, as much, in the future. I truly hope I don’t have to put Plan B in action.

Broker/Agents are no longer the gatekeepers – But, why it’s important, in my opinion, for Broker/Agents to have their own websites.

Frustrated they can’t find a suitable home in their price rangesome of my home buyer clients have come to our meetings with stacks of printouts of homes from Zillow’s website that look to them are available for sale. They exclaim, as if they just struck gold,

“Look at these homes I found on the internet! Why can’t we see these?!!”, as if I am purposely withholding from them the opportunity to buy a fabulous home they found for sale on the internet in their price range.

Agents who want to remain in business cannot afford to be willfully ignorant of how Zillow works.

In the past when a home buyer said what about such-and-such home that’s for sale? I would run in circles like a cat chasing its tail, scrambling to get on my Multiple Listing Service system to check on such-and-such home only to find it not listed in the MLS. Scratching my head, wondering, I would go back to my home buyer client and ask more questions: Is there and who is the agent listing the home? Is there and what is the MLS number? Where on the internet did you see this home for sale? Questions my home buyer clients couldn’t answer, except perhaps for the last question – they saw it on Zillow.

Bait and Switch?

What my home buyer clients were looking at were “property profiles” of homes on Zillow and were confusing these profiles as homes for sale. Click here for an example of what home buyers mistaken for a legitimate home for sale. What stands out is the “Pre-foreclosure” Auction status and says it has been on Zillow for 688 days. My home buyer may not have noticed the Foreclosure auction date is September 21, 2012 – almost two years ago – but the Zillow “Zestimate” states it is $384,481 and $29K below Zillow’s “Zestimate.”

To a home buyer, they may think “Eureka!” — this home looks like a great deal! Especially if we’ve been having a difficult time finding a home that fits their needs in a specific location in their price range. Then I have to break the bad news: this home is not available for sale and explain why it is not for sale.It’s sad because I can see the disappointment in their eyes.

Having been down this road too many times to count, now I insist home buyer customers and clients use my websites to search for homes, not Zillow. In the past I would casually say they can use my site, or my broker’s site, to search for homes – that they don’t have to use Zillow. They never really listened and that is my mistake for not explaining why they shouldn’t use Zillow. Now I have two websites customers can use, and plan to have two more. All of the home searches on my sites are direct feeds from the Multiple Listing Service and do not house (pun intended) “property profiles” to confuse customers.

The argument only the MLS is accurate is becoming a worn out one.

It’s true that not all homes available for sale are listed on the Multiple Listing Service. Homes that can be for sale and not on the MLS would be:

  • For sale by owner
  • Trustee sale — at the courthouse steps
  • Bulk home sales not available to the public
  • Pocket and “coming soon” listings

A new Silicon Valley startup may soon add to the list of selling homes outside the MLS.


Pamela Seley, REALTOR®


Direct 951.491.4063

31213 Temecula Valley Parkway, #100, Temecula, California 92592 

Office: 951.326.3100


CA BRE License # 01824145


We, at Preview Chicago couldn’t have written a more truthful statement about the real estate profession. It is not going away, in fact, it might be better now for the great ones.  Remember, there isn’t a way to have a drone pick up a house and deliver it to the customer, not yet, at least.  So, your job is secure, but adapt to the new way of selling. 

Call us if you would like to partner with us and take part in the new way of selling. It is FREE. 773.744.7755

Tim Padavic