In the Internet Age, Does Expertise in Buying & Selling Homes Matter?

  • by Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS®
  • Aug 23, 2022, 09:46 AM

The rise of digital life has helped foster a culture of skepticism. Today, everyone has their own truths, and thanks to the internet, we can find sources to back up those “truths,” no matter what they are. It seems culture has grown hostile to established knowledge. There have been frivolous lawsuits and ludicrous accusations swirled around the media of misleading claims that real estate brokers are no longer valuable in the internet age.

Of course, it’s undeniable the volumes of information made available by the Internet have changed the home buying and selling process. What’s also undeniable, although less intuitive, is that these transformations have made real estate professionals even more critical. Research shows 88% of those who start their home buying search online ultimately use a real estate broker as the process moves forward. Just because you have a wealth of medical knowledge at your fingertips doesn’t mean you diagnose and treat your own medical condition.

Anyone can stake a “for sale by owner” sign in their yard, but it takes more than a quick online search to determine a competitive asking price for your home. And if you don’t want it to sit idly on the market for months, how will you advertise it to buyers? Or, if you’re a buyer in today’s hot market, do you really expect your offer to stand out compared to those prepared by professionals with local market knowledge? Would you know how to write an offer? Or ensure all state and local property transfer laws are being followed? By buying a home, you’re essentially entering a contract on one of the most complicated purchases you’ll ever make.

Real estate brokers spend months studying to become licensed. In the years of doing business, they can apply their acquired knowledge and the extensive, real-life experience gained along the way, to help people navigate a significant variety of complex and technical aspects associated with buying a home.

The fact is, like millions of Americans, real estate brokers are small business owners. REALTORS® specifically, along with being licensed to do their job, are also guided by a professional Code of Ethics and are usually actively involved in their community. Your local REALTORS®, The Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS®, host, donate, and participate in charity events which help move the housing insecure into permeant housing, provide people with essentials like food and toiletries, maintain local parks, and give back to pets and pet owners in need. They know every neighborhood and every local school district in town. They know the local property tax rates, typical utility costs in every neighborhood, the best appraisers, and the contractors to avoid. They are invested in their community for the long term. They didn’t acquire their skills and expertise from watching HGTV or searching the internet. They earned their knowledge by helping hundreds of their friends, neighbors, and community members buy and sell homes for years. They are an expert, just as a teacher is to their students or a doctor is to their patients.

Of course, most people who have bought or sold a house remember having a real estate broker by their side every step of the process. Most likely, they had a REALTOR® — a member of the National Association of REALTORS® — guiding them through everything from price negotiations and lender applications to open houses and final inspection walk throughs. Most people would prefer to not figure all of that out on their own during the most complex and consequential financial transaction of their lives.

For more information about how to buy or sell a home, be sure to work with a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS® is the voice for real estate in Snohomish County. If you have questions for The Expert about real estate email us at, or visit