Wired News has an timely article regarding on the real estate industry and provided some examples of situations where professionals (not limited to real estate agents) might not have your best interests in mind. I think they could have taken their limited analysis of “real estate information” a step further. In reality, there is so much real estate information that gets locked up in proprietary databases at the expense of the consumer. And to add insult to injury, even this locked up data is riddled with errors.
“Information can be a beacon, or information can be a cudgel; it depends on who wields it and how. In any transaction, it’s common for one party to have better information than the other. In the parlance of economists, this is information asymmetry. There’s value in asymmetry; it’s the reason why someone, such as a consumer, will pay someone else, an expert, for his knowledge.
Of course, sometimes an expert might manipulate his advantage for his own benefit. If your doctor suggests that you have an angioplasty – even though current research suggests that angioplasty often does little to prevent heart attacks – your first thought won’t likely be that the doctor is using his informational advantage to make a few thousand dollars for himself or his buddy”
While I can’t change the industry overnight, I’m trying to do my small part with gHomes by opening up the data and presenting it in a useful way for my potential clients. Just like most industries, the real estate industry lives and dies by references and referrals. By providing the best possible information and service to my clients, I think I will more than earn my commission (and their future referrals).