There was a time and age when no real estate transaction, be it the purchase or leasing of a home, could have been completed without the involvement of a real estate agent or broker. For many home seekers looking to purchase or a furnished apartments on rent in Delhi, Mumbai, or any other city, a real estate agent was necessary, as they alone possessed information of the local properties, along with the necessary legal documentation.

However, over the past decade or so, things have rapidly changed in Indian metros. Thanks to the internet, home seekers can now easily search for the home of their choice and complete the transaction directly with property developers or home sellers without the intervention of a real estate broker.

Does this make the real estate broker a profession of the past? Let us look at some of the main property-related activities and how real estate brokers fit into them:

  • Searching for a home

Be it for outright purchase or rent, online real estate websites provide home seekers with a plethora of options that can be filtered according to individual requirements. Additionally, home sellers and home owners looking for tenants can now market their property online, which gives them access to the market.

  • Rent versus Buying

Buying a home for any investor requires not just financial risks, but also knowledge of other factors such as price appreciation, expected rents, and other hidden costs. A professional real estate broker can help investors make the right decision by offering quality advice on the right property to buy.

However, when it comes to renting a home, the associated risks are lesser for the home seeker, when compared to buying a home. Due to lack of affordable homes in India, most home seekers prefer to rent a home rather than buying a home. For example, a 1000 square-feet flat for rent in Mumbai suburb costs anywhere between 3-6 lakhs annually, while purchasing the same would cost between 1.5 to 3 cores. Due to the reduced risks in renting, customers may prefer to not consult the real estate broker and save on the brokerage fee that most agents charge.

Home rental services such as NestAway, offers a range of flats on rent in Mumbai without brokerage. Online home renting services could be the right way to go when seeking the right home.

  • Logistic support

Traditionally, real estate brokers have provided the logistical support for their customers including scheduling site visits, preparing the legal documentation, and financing. With the increasing automation of legal procedures and paperwork, customers are less dependent on the real estate brokers. Additionally, many online property services have also started offering these services to their customers.

With the advent of the internet and technology tools, searching for a home has become easier without depending on the local real estate brokers. If not obsolete, the real estate brokerage market will need to efficiently organise themselves in order to stay relevant and offer value to today’s customer.