Why Websites Will Not Replace a Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Sacramento real estate agentThinking about Zillow and Trulia client interactions with those websites generated profuse apologies last Wednesday from this Sacramento real estate agent to my doctor. It was like a light bulb had gone off, and I accidentally stepped on it and broke it. I was at the doctor’s to talk about my cholesterol but while I was there I thought it would be a good idea to also discuss another situation that, on the surface, appeared minor but health is not my profession. I am an agent who sells real estate in Sacramento.

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I had been looking online and reading other websites, comments and input from complete strangers, about a medical issue. Like I know crap from shinola. It involved spots on the heel of my foot. Just as I opened my mouth and inserted said foot, I realized how idiotic I sounded yet I still shoved a piece of paper in front of my doctor on which I had written the name of a particular affliction.

This is a woman who has completed a 2- to 3-year residency after 8 years of college and has worked as a doctor at U.C. Davis for more than a decade. My medical knowledge would fit in her pinkie. I felt incredibly ashamed when I admitted that I found the name of that disease online. I immediately backpedaled and said I realize it must be irritating to have patients with absolutely no medical background diagnosing themselves at Web MD or other websites.

I felt like a total idiot.

The doctor calmly asked if I am particularly flexible. No, not really, I guess. OK, can I do the splits, for example? No, I cannot, unless you count crawling over a fence gate to retrieve a lockbox and just about killing this Sacramento real estate agent. Well, then I don’t have said disease I had presented and the spots, while painless, are also harmless.

I don’t know how doctors handle these ridiculous episodes because they must come up over and over from patients. We can’t help ourselves. The internet is right THERE and doctors are not. I imagine those in the medical profession spend a good part of their precious time reassuring patients over imaginary diseases, time that would be better spent treating them and not explaining why the internet is wrong.

But times are what they are and people naturally gravitate to the web to look up stuff. I have patience when clients tell me they looked up the market value of a home on Zillow and therefore they know exactly what it’s worth. They don’t know any better. It’s the same patience I employ when a buyer calls to say she found the perfect preforeclosure home on Trulia while I explain that it’s not for sale. It’s OK to look online for homes, but it’s not OK to rely on it.

Bottom line, the internet is absolutely, positively, indubitably and without question no substitute for education, training and experience. I hear agents yapping that Trulia and Zillow will replace them. Silly wabbits. The internet can’t replace an experienced Sacramento real estate agent.

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