The robots are coming, the robots are coming! Face it, folks, artificial intelligence (AI) is here and it’s taking over our lives. As fast as you can ask “Alexa, what’s the capital of Madagascar?” unseen nanobots and algorithms are slicing, dicing, and distributing every piece of that question and disseminating it to the four corners of the Earth.
Before you know it, you’ll be bombarded with online ads hawking African safaris and exotic coffees… and you were just looking for an answer to 29-down with a “v” as the penultimate letter.
Speaking of algorithms, welcome to house hunting 2019! In today’s e-world, you’re just a click away from the house of your dreams, no pesky real estate agents needed. Oh, you need to sell as well? Have I got a “Zestimate” for you!
It all sounds too good to be true…
What did mommy and daddy tell you about “too good to be true?” As just one example, let’s look at the many online real estate outfits (Zillow seems to be the biggest player) offering to eliminate the agent from the equation, pushing the savings of thousands in commission as the main perk. Um, OK.
Who determines the price of the home? Online estimates can be off by 10 percent or more (this is according to Zillow—I kid you not).
Who schedules things like showings, inspections, appraisals? Who controls who and when your home is infested by the masses?
Who negotiates the price? (Hopefully not the party who has a horse in the race.)
Who helps you navigate through the paperwork? Companies that operate nationally often use their own contracts and disclosures, which can limit your rights and overexpose your liabilities under Arizona laws. Sure, you can hire an attorney, but wasn’t your original motivation to save a few bucks?
Given the right circumstances, your ability to wade through the time suck, and a little luck, buying a home online might be the way to go… or not. “Alexa, what’s the name of a great local Realtor?”
And don’t get me started on all those Google ads that follow me around.