Do Buyers and Sellers Still Need a Real Estate Professional?


I read an interesting study done by MRIS, a regional MLS that serves the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, including Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. MRIS is the largest MLS in the country, with close to 50,000 subscribers.

According to the report, which I found on, today’s consumers recognize this is not the time to complete a real estate transaction on their own, and are placing a stronger emphasis on the agent’s professional skills. The following are the traits that the participants in this study found to be the most important (in order of highest rank):

  1. Trustworthiness
  2. Experience
  3. Willingness to look out for a client’s interest
  4. Expertise in negotiating contracts
  5. Responsiveness
  6. Familiarity with contracts
  7. Knowledge of the local community


These requirements are evidence that consumers are seeking more than simple guidance; they are looking for an expert they can trust to execute a step-by-step process throughout the entire transaction.

Although this study was done with consumers in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, I would argue that these findings are equally applicable in our little corner of the world. Today’s buyers and sellers have more information about real estate than in any other time. Buyers can research neighborhoods for school information, crime statistics, demographics, and much more. Sellers can look at recently sold properties in their area, current listings (potential competition) and even get pricing help from the many AVMs that are available. Yet, despite all of the tools and resources available, when it comes time to actually buy or sell a home, there is nothing more valuable than the industry knowledge, expertise, and guidance a real estate professional brings to the table.

Other findings in the study were:

Top 5 reasons buyers value you Top 5 reasons sellers value you
Knowledge of closing procedures Setting the right price
Negotiating the best price Effectively marketing their property
Understanding their needs and wants Understanding their needs and wants
Knowledge of the community Negotiating the best price
Responsiveness to their emails and calls Knowledge of closing procedures

The take away for me is that the abundance of information available to consumers with regard to real estate does not minimize the role of the REALTOR®; on the contrary, it magnifies the need for a real estate professional to guide buyers, sellers, renters, and landlords through this complicated transaction. 

Are you positioning yourself to meet the needs of today’s buyers? Do you exhibit the top seven traits buyers and sellers are looking for in their real estate professional? Do you bring the skills to the table that buyers and sellers value?

Being a successful REALTOR® is not easy; it takes discipline, hard work, and a willingness to learn and change. To quote Tom Hanks in the movie, A League of their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great!”

I want you to be great at your chosen profession!

Special note: I want to acknowledge and thank MRIS for allowing me to reprint this information from their report.