Then and Now

Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

Sacramento Realtor - Myrl Jeffcoat 


There is something distinctly different about selling homes today, which is unlike thirty years ago, when I first received my real estate license.


For example, the MLS listings in 1981 were published in books, which were found at our office doorstep, early on Saturday mornings. 

When a Realtor opened the cover, and glanced at homes for sale, they would find approximately 9 property listings, on 3 rows, and 3 columns on hundreds of pages.  Usually each listing was accompanied with one black and white photo of poor quality.


Because the current interest rate in November 1981 was 18%, it wasn’t pretty pictures that sold homes back then.  It was whether they were the one in every several, which had a good ASSUMABLE low interest rate mortgage on it.

Flash forward three decades.  Things have really changed.  There are mornings I suspect many real estate agents consider themselves more of a photographer, than they do a Realtor.  If they aren’t capable of taking great photos themselves, they nearly always know someone who can.

Because most homes today are listed in the MLS via computer, and are often marketed on a litany of Internet websites available to the public.  The ability to take quality photos has become a vital tool for providing information to buyers and sellers in the real estate arena.  Pretty pictures are often believed to be worth a thousand words. 


BUT, it is important to remember that pretty pictures don’t replace real estate agents.  Many buyers (and sellers too), begin their house hunting, before contacting an agent.  And they often launch searches on their own, even while working with a real estate professional.


Internet consumer searches are done in much the same way, as real estate agents.  Search parameters (towns, price range, number of bedrooms and baths, square footage, lot size), can be entered into the criteria.  From the input populated in the search fields, listings are produced to match the criteria.


Here is where having a Real Estate Professional working with you can make a tremendous difference.  Usually in the marketing of properties, listings are presented in "their best light."  In other words, great pictures, marketing descriptions and comments can many times exaggerate the positive, while underplaying the negative - if not totally ignoring it.

Real Estate Professionals use their market knowledge and expertise to allow filtering out properties, which will not work for their clients.

One agent remembered a personal friend, who lived in another state, who was ready to relocate to yet another state.  The friend was using one of the more popular Internet websites geared for real estate buyers and sellers.  The friend flew half way across the country to put in an offer on the house in the picture.  She had fallen in love with the huge oak tree in front of the quaint looking house in the "exceptional" picture.  

However, when she arrived at the property, she found the huge Oak tree, was mere inches from the front of the house, and it's roots were actually busting out the slab in the dining room.  The branches were threatening the roof.  It was then, that the friend realized that a referral to a good real estate agent in the area was a great idea after all.

Working with a real estate professional provides interaction with someone who is knowledgeable about the marketplace, and listing inventory.  And working with a real estate professional saves you valuable time that can come from viewing properties that will truly work for you and your family. 

Internet searches are a Great tool for buyers and sellers, but they simply don't replace a professional and knowledgeable agent.



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Comments 18 New Comment

Kwee Huset
Venice Florida Homes For Sale
Kwee Huset Realty

Myrl, congratulations on your achievement of over 700K points. your quality contents match your blog title.

February 02, 2012 10:36 PM
Karen Kruschka
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"
RE/MAX Real Estate Connections

Myrl  Having been licensed I remember the "good old days".  However, buyers still need a professional with experience to provide them with expert data as compared to much of the misinformation they receive online

February 03, 2012 06:43 AM
Steve Merson
Keller Williams Realty

Hi Myrl,

Another excellent article as always. I use a professional photographer on all of my listings. Of course, there are occassions when it can backfire. I remember receiving a call from a very irate agent who showed my listing and was so mad at me as the home, in her opinion, didn't show nearly as well in real life as it did in the photos!! Oh well.............


February 03, 2012 04:59 PM
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates

Myrl ... I'm right there with yiu!  I still have a couple of those books and ... believe it or not .... my old black and white polaroid camera!   Those were the days!

February 03, 2012 09:16 PM
Bob & Leilani Souza
Placer County, CA: Foreclosures, Auctions, Rentals
Souza Realty - Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Loomis, Granite Bay, Penryn, Newcastle, Auburn, Meadow Vista (California)

Myrl, thanks for sharing your real estate flashback with us! I got my license only 13 short years ago and things haven't changed as much since then as they have if you go back 30 years. I heard about those listing books from the old-timers, though! :)


February 06, 2012 12:02 AM

Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
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