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Modern Real Estate Transactions


Modern Real Estate Transactions

by Robert Bialkin

Property information which was once only available to real estate professionals is now easily accessible on websites such as Zillow displays property descriptions, photos, and even estimated values in a searchable format. While helpful, these websites are often incorrect or out of date. 

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is still the only place to get official property information and availability, but access remains limited to real estate professionals. Criteria such as location, size, and price are entered into the online MLS database. Those results are then automatically emailed to the buyer the same day that a matching property hits the market. I then monitor my clients’ MLS activity on the back end, such as saving, rejecting, and making notes on properties. In this competitive marketplace, being the early bird has given my clients an edge.

Clients can also download substantial property information online via tax records, recorded documents, historical data, and most importantly high-resolution digital photos. And while photos are great, putting your eyes on the home and neighborhood is still best.

Technology has even improved the signing process. Signing and sending docs went from meeting a client for wet signatures and hand delivering an offer, to printing and faxing, to scanning and emailing, and now to signing electronically. Platforms like Docusign allow a client to open a link in an email and just click to sign after reviewing the document with me over the phone. This is wildly convenient, and allows me to obtain signatures from clients who are away or only have access to their smart phone, without a fax, printer, or scanner. Electronic signatures are now trusted for most documents.

With technology, the modern real estate transaction has reached a feverish pace. In turn, I have adapted and developed ways to manage a client portfolio using only an iPhone. My clients enjoy the ability to reach me via phone, text, email, and even chat or facetime. I enjoy not being tied to a desk. I see the gap widening between those agents who utilize technology and those who do not. A client can now easily research potential agents to hire by checking that agents reviews on Yelp and Google. Go ahead, Google me and see for yourself

Robert Bialkin is an attorney (CalBar 265854) and REALTOR® (CalBRE 01958883) and broker associate with W Real Estate (CalBRE 01795950). Not legal advice, but hopefully still helpful.