The short answer: From negotiation strategies to procedural steps, it is a local knowledgeable real estate professional who will be there to advise home buyers. Sellers want a local expert in their corner - not some LCD monitor!
ZTR are major (the biggest) real estate portals. While it is a fact most buyers and sellers start their research on the Internet it is also a fact that a local knowledgeable real estate agent will be involved most often before the keys are exchanged.
Why is that?
Because, regardless of information portal used including local MLS sites, real estate transactions are defined by local knowledge including knowledge of neighborhoods, price trends, inventory and absorption rates, schools, local issues... you name it.
Buyers and sellers live in an interactive world - not some sterile data driven world that may or may not reflect reality.
From negotiation strategies to procedural steps, it is a local knowledgeable real estate professional who will be there to advise home buyers. I guess one could have an inspection done, get the results and then go back to Google and get advice on "What to do with the home inspection results." Go ahead Google it.
There are thousands of information resources available on the Internet. While some are valid resources , others offer outdated, unverified and just plain wrong information. Sure the ZTRs of the world will continue to serve as a starting point.
But every consumer (buyer or seller) is unique with different goals and circumstances. The information and guidance provided should be individualized and not some generic one size fits all solution. In other words, a local real estate professional.
When you are ready to buy or sell a home in Melbourne, Florida give me me a call after you have checked out the mega web sites. I will give you the local perspective and the data to support my opinion.