As the housing market begins to melt a bit, you may find yourself in the market to hire a real estate agent. Beware! There is a new predator slithering along the real estate industry’s jungle floor: the tech realtor.
A growing pack of techie millennials have apparently decided that selling and buying real estate can and should be done almost entirely from their laptops! Most have full time jobs as IT administrators and imagine that selling real estate should be just another side hustle, a part time gig, an easy way to make a few extra bucks.
Already good with tech, they will show up to take pictures of your house that will automatically include overhead shots, as any excuse to play with a drone is a good excuse, as well as a slick virtual tour of the home. This will be impressive. However, once they have finished playing with their tech toys you may very well never see them again. Emails and text messages will replace actual service, as showing up for anything in person is considered unnecessary.
They have their other job and family commitments to take care of, which they will tell you at the onset. But while anyone who is paying 4 or 5 or 6 % of the price of a home to someone for doing a job will reasonably expect that the time needed to pay attention to selling your real estate will come out of their personal time, your tech agent will tell you flat out that being late to every single appointment (if they show up at all), is something they feel they are entitled to and that you should be OK with; after all, they have other stuff going on. They’ll see no problem in expecting you to accept that they are doing a half a job while expecting you to pay them a full commission.
Generalizations are dangerous and often inaccurate, and our poor overburdened millennials have been painted as feeling entitled and as having a poor work ethic for some time. Sometimes however, generalizations are mostly right on.
Do yourself a favor and hire an old-school, full-time realtor. Hire someone who knows the value of personal service, being on time, and who will prioritize selling your home over finishing up their other job or changing the baby’s diaper. Hire a professional Realtor – not a tech realtor; the two are definitely not the same.
Stefán Neary lives with his family in New England,
where he works as an IT consultant and part-time chef.