Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Would YOU buy a house from an Uber Driver?

I keep reading these Inman News stories -- stories about the real estate industry, written by "credible" authors.  One of them was recently in an Uber cab and realized that the driver was a real estate agent. Wow!  Imagine, your Uber driver could show you a house you've been eyeing on the way to the airport.

Of course, you found this house on an app that interpreted your feelings and desires, and suggested it to you.  The Uber driver conveniently arranged for you to see it.  You quickly got a mortgage on another app (or perhaps the same one), and voila!  Home Sweet Home.

Sorry, this old school skeptic doesn't buy it.

I mean, it sounds like a good idea!  It sounds so easy!

But it's not.  There is a wild world of offer and negotiation, inspections, crazy sellers, crazy buyers, stressed-out crazy agents, title companies, weird lending practices, goof-ball builders, and other not-so-simple complexities in a home purchase.  How in the world would all these emotional areas be managed by an app?

The truth is, they won't.  These are pipe dreams.

I've listened to similar stories for 40 years, and yet, real estate buying and selling still needs a qualified transaction manager -- a licensed agent -- to handle the details.  Even (and especially) buying a brand new home requires a third party fiduciary (great word) for the buyer.

The consumer wants lower costs of buying, yet the costs of real estate brokerage go UP, not down. And broker profitability goes down with the cost of doing business.  

So, without radical changes in how buyers and sellers react with one another -- I mean, the core root of human behavior will have to change before Uber drivers become successful real estate agents.

I doubt I'll be buying or selling a home with my driver anytime soon......will you?