What a great question!
Given the current market conditions, I feel that Realtors are more necessary than ever. Wilmington is still a good market, we have had growth in home sales this year. It takes a little more time and skill to sell houses now.
Sellers need the expertise of a Realtor to: 1)help them price their home - we all know that overpricing a home costs a lot of time and money, 2) market their home not only by way of our MLS but by actively seeking buyers, 3) negotiating the price and contract, 4) closing the deal, the agent has to stay on top of the transaction to avoid pitfalls and then when there are problems to solve them quickly. With the mortgage market in the shape it is, the agent has to maintain close contact with the lender.
Buyers need us more than ever now as well, there are so many houses on the market. It is our job to truly listen to our clients and find them what they need. Nothing makes me crazier than to hear another agent say they showed 20 or 30 houses to a buyer one day or even on a weekend. When I hear that I know that the agent does not have a clue what their client wants and the POOR client - imagine being taken to 30 houses that do not meet your needs. (Please do not get me wrong we have all had the client that has to see all of the houses between $100k and $300k themselves... but MOST buyers do not want to see everything.) Buyers need an agent that is going to listen to them and read between the lines - the old saying buyers are liars is not true, often times their wants and needs cannot be summed up in 25 words or less, we really have to py attention. Then once the agent knows what their clients need they have to do some research, such as calling the listing agent and previewing the houses.
All I can say is when you have a good agent you don't know how valuable they are until you get a "not so good" agent. You get what you pay for. There is definitely a place for flat fee companies, but they will never take the place of a GOOD full service agent.
I appreciate your opinion, but I am very surprised. If I weren't as active on this site, there would be very little activity for the Wilmington area. I enjoy the input. I research 5-10 articles a day. I blog for my readers. I watch CNBC several hours a day. I very much have an interest in what is going on in my country. I may be wrong, but I think my questions have added a lot of value to this forum. If you are not happy with my input, please do no respond. Thanks...
Discount brokerages and listing agents only taking 2% will not spend the money and effort on your listing that someone with 3% on the listing side will. It's just that simple. It's not enough to just put it in your MLS and hope that another agent in your area sells it for you. And that's what the majority of discount agents are doing. But it's not doing the right thing by their clients. You ALWAYS get what you pay for.
Doctors and attornetys don't work on commission because they truly are doing the same work. It's the same basic process, period. It's all relative because the higher the price of the home, typically the harder it is to sell, since the mortgage industry shake out. What you've got to ask yourself is..."In this market, where properties are sitting on the market longer, and buyers are a little wishy washy about committing and signing on the dotted line, do you want to have your property listed with someone that's going to spend more money on marketing or less?"