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Technology has transformed many industries, such as travel and finance, but the process of buying a home has remained relatively unchanged. However, the recent settlement between the National Association of Realtors and home sellers could revolutionize the real estate industry. This settlement could lead to buyers and sellers paying their agents separately, rather than sellers paying a commission split between both sides. This potential change opens the door for new technology to reshape the role of real estate agents, similar to innovations in other industries.

Experts speculate that buyers’ agents may see their work simplified through technology, allowing consumers to handle tasks themselves. With nearly half of home buyers starting their search online, there is a growing need for transparency in the real estate industry. As technology continues to advance, industry professionals will have to demonstrate their value as long-term consultants in a niche market. Real estate could evolve to be more like personal finance, where agents provide ongoing support and expertise to clients throughout their journey.

Lessons from how travel agents evolved with technology can be applied to the real estate industry. Buyers’ agents may become more like travel agents, offering guidance and expertise while buyers have access to public information. The NAR settlement could be a catalyst for digitizing many aspects of real estate transactions, leading to reduced costs associated with buying and selling homes. Despite technological advancements, a fully automated process like an Amazon marketplace for homes is still a distant reality due to the complexity of the real estate market.

While technology may streamline the home buying process, buyers may still seek the reassurance of working with a real estate agent for such a major life decision. The behavioral aspect of home buying plays a significant role, with some households preferring the guidance of a professional throughout the process. Agents have a human element that provides comfort and support to homebuyers, especially when making significant financial decisions. Ultimately, the role of real estate agents may evolve to become more like consultants, offering value-added insights and personalized guidance to clients.

The potential changes in the real estate industry could lead to increased consumer transparency and easier navigation of the home buying process. Technology has the power to simplify tasks that were traditionally handled by agents, making it easier for buyers to research and compare properties on their own. While the role of real estate agents may shift towards providing ongoing consultation and support, the human aspect of the home buying process will likely remain essential for many buyers. As the industry adapts to new technologies and settlement rules, agents will continue to play a vital role in guiding homebuyers through the complex process of purchasing a home.

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