With a tough economy facing rising interest rates and inflation, it’s no surprise real estate professionals are concerned. Although homes have been selling at an unprecedented speed in most markets, others are showing signs of slowing. In the midst of all this, it is worth asking: What is the role of the real estate professional in 2022? smart real estate new report has a few answers.

General seller expectations

Clever found that 45% of home sellers believe the housing market is in a bubble that could burst in 2022. Yet 43% of sellers believe their home will sell above asking price, with more than a a quarter of them (28%) expecting to receive an offer the first day their home comes up for sale.

More than half of home sellers (53%) believe they will accept an offer within a month of listing and, judging by other results on the current speed of home sales – that confidence seems warranted.

But this optimism of sellers also masks real fears. The vast majority of sellers (74%) worry that their home will languish on the market too long, which will strain their finances and lower their final selling price.

Given their fears of a stock market crash, many sellers are eager to close a sale as soon as possible, as evidenced by the fact that 35% of sellers put off their home listing plans.

As a result, sellers are looking for a real estate professional to help them do this.

Do Realtors Still Matter?

Mostly, yes. Even if you are a new real estate agent who got your license during the pandemic, the results of the study are encouraging. The percentage of sellers who say they intend to use a real estate agent has increased from 54% in 2019 to 77% in 2022.

An intriguing finding from the report is that nearly 20% of sellers say finding a qualified real estate professional to sell their home is the hardest part of the selling process. So what methods do sellers use to find real estate agents?

More than half of sellers surveyed (54%) say they consider finding an agent through online real estate platforms such as Zillow or real estate agent.com. Almost half (48%) say they expect to use internet reviews from places such as Yelp or Google. Meanwhile, word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family are now the third most common way to find an agent, with 42% of sellers planning to explore this option.

One of the biggest surprises? Millennials in particular show a strong interest in using a real estate agent to sell their home. The cohort is almost twice as likely to hire an agent for their sale in 2022 than they were in 2019 (80% vs. 47%).

Realtors are making a difference, and these results show that sellers recognize it more than ever before.

Train door-to-door sellers

One of the most important roles that real estate agents play when it comes to selling a home is to be an educational resource for sellers. This is especially important when it comes to fees – including their own commissions – and explaining exactly what they are responsible for.

In the Clever survey, only 54% of sellers know that real estate commissions typically represent 4% to 6% of the selling price of their home. And 42% of sellers surveyed don’t know they’re usually expected to pay the buyer’s agent commission.

For sellers and investors looking to get the biggest return on their investment, an appraisal is an essential tool. However, almost half of all sellers (47%) mistakenly believe that the seller’s agent is responsible for assessing the value of a home.

These results demonstrate that educating home sellers every step of the way is still a critical need in real estate.

Advances in technology

The pandemic has brought some serious changes to door-to-door sales technology. Without the ability to physically show a home to potential buyers, coupled with a shortage of available homes, real estate agents have had to pivot and embrace technology.

Over the past two years, agents and their clients have had to rely on technology tools, including virtual tours and e-signature, but more changes are on the way. Real estate trends to watch in 2022 include the rise of web 3.0 tools such as:

  • Automation of property management
  • Big data that uses artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Increased use of the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Crowdfunding platforms adapted to real estate
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFT)

Think that sounds far-fetched? Imagine this: a chatbot responds to a seller’s initial request to list a home. The seller decides to proceed with a sale, and the same chatbot directs him to a questionnaire which interprets his answers and sends the customer to a real estate agent corresponding to his needs.

This agent then designs and launches a virtual tour, with interactive features and options to get potential buyers’ questions answered or indicate their interest. The same platform that hosts the virtual tour can also send the buyer information about potential lenders (and start the prequalification process). And it’s all accessible through a smart speaker or mobile device.

This whole process is happening right now, maybe right outside your doorstep, and more and more sellers want a real estate agent who knows this technology. Why? About 47% of salespeople surveyed trust the power of artificial intelligence (AI) more than a traditional agent, with millennial salespeople more likely than baby boomers to trust the technology more and more popular.

About 73% of sellers say they would consider using AI to find a buyer. That’s up from 51% in 2019 – before the pandemic demonstrated the power and reach of technology in home sales.

Even still, millennials are more interested in hiring a realtor to sell their home than they were in 2019. That’s a testament to real estate agents’ continued prowess.

The world changes

The world changes, but some things stay the same. On the contrary, Clever’s research revealed the remarkable potential of the real estate market. The tools may change, the numbers may change, but real estate agents remain consistent at the center of it all.

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