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Real estate brokers to face new online competition

The Internet has revolutionized many kinds of businesses in recent years, and Delaware residents are now able to shop for goods, pay their bills and compare vacation destinations online. The complex structure and highly regulated nature of U.S. residential real estate sales has made it difficult for online companies to enter the market in a meaningful way, and the Internet has largely become a tool for real estate brokers and agents to reach more prospective buyers and sellers.

However, several online property companies in the United Kingdom hope that a combination of low fees and convenience will give them an edge over traditional bricks and mortar real estate brokers as they endeavor to penetrate the American market. Unsurprisingly, a representative for the National Association of Realtors played down the overseas online threat to the American residential real estate model. The NAR spokesperson said that American consumers prefer to deal with industry experts familiar with the local area when they venture out to buy a house.

Such comments do little to dampen the enthusiasm of online real estate companies that have carved out a sizable niche for themselves in the U.K. and see North America as a pristine market crying out for innovation. They point to the streaming of television programming as a recent example of how the Internet can rapidly revolutionize well established industries.

Additional choice is generally a good thing for consumers, and this is particularly true for significant purchases like real estate. However, closing a real estate transaction can sometimes be challenging. Experienced real estate attorneys may be able to help property buyers and sellers to avoid disputes and delays by reviewing documents to identify clauses that could lead to disagreements.

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