In 2020, home sales reached their highest point in 14 years. In the process, the number of consumers who did Internet research about a home purchase reached an all­time high of 97%. So why do 9 in 10 people still choose to work with a real estate agent to buy a home?

“Buying a house is the largest and most important financial decision most people make in a lifetime, and there’s a lot more to it than what you see online,” said Charlie Oppler, president of the National Association of Realtors. “You can look up symptoms on the Internet, but you need a doctor to diagnose and treat the condition, much like Realtors offer expert guidance to their clients on the complex financial, legal and community aspects of purchasing a home.”

The same holds true on Staten Island, where is the prime online source for home listings in the borough, as well as the go-to website for keeping up with local real estate market trends. Consumers can use the site to access the database of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service (SIMLS), provided by the Staten Island Board of Realtors® (SIBOR), which offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date information about available Staten Island homes.

To ease the path toward homeownership, SIBOR and SIMLS are highlighting some of the ways Staten Island real estate professionals can help bridge the gap from what’s seen on to being handed the keys to a dream home:

  1. ACCESS ALL THE HOME CHOICES AVAILABLE, NOT JUST WHAT YOU SEE ONLINE. Maybe the home you saw online ends up being the one. Or maybe that’s just a starting point and you eventually will find a better match for the style or number of rooms or location you want. Staten Island Realtors are members of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service, giving them access to a complete database of all homes for sale, created via cooperation among all brokers within the market. Based on your must­haves and wish list, a Staten Island Realtor is going to give you more choices and price options.

 2. EMPLOY TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE THE HOMEBUYING PROCESS MORE CONVENIENT THAN EVER BEFORE. While purchasing a Staten Island home is traditionally done face­to­face, Staten Island real estate agents have quickly adopted new technologies to make the process easier. Not only can real estate agents take you on virtual tours of homes, they also can use digital e-signature services and remote notarization tools to make it possible to complete the transaction online for increased convenience and safety.

 3. LEAVE ALL OF THE HARD WORK IN THE HANDS OF AN EXPERT. Buying a home is basically a full­time job — it is what real estate agents do. Real estate agents manage many essential components, including: Researching homes and neighborhoods; scheduling home tours and inspections; preparing strategies to beat the competition; coordinating with appraisers and attorneys, and much more. Beyond finding a home, the top thing buyers want most from their real estate agent is someone who can help them negotiate the terms of sale and help with price negotiations.

 4. MANAGE THE FINANCIAL AND LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE TRANSACTION, INCLUDING NEGOTIATING THE BEST PRICE. People get help with taxes, school financing and many other money­related matters. Of course, you should seek help with one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. A real estate agent levels the playing field of knowledge to buy a home. Real estate agents help navigate complex paperwork, coordinate with lenders, provide information on mortgage rates, manage attorney reviews, handle closings and advise on regulations. They also serve as your professional negotiator by ensuring you get the best price and terms.

 5. NAVIGATE DATA AND TRENDS TO FIND THE RIGHT COMMUNITY FOR YOU. Real estate agents help people find homes in the same communities where they themselves live, work, play and serve. They are aware of the latest trends and shifts in the local housing market and are able to educate home buyers to make sure they choose the neighborhood that is right for them (e.g., price trends, school options, traffic, etc.). Real estate agents can provide information about local, county and state property taxes as well as navigate all required state and federal documents. In fact, many homebuyers have found their Realtor® so helpful that nine in 10 would recommend their agent to others.

“When you feel you’re ready to become an Island homeowner, it’s wise to connect with a Realtor® member of SIBOR,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of SIBOR. “Having a Staten Island real estate professional guide you through the process is highly advantageous whether you are buying or selling a home.”

About the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

Established in 1915, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest professional association in Staten Island, N.Y. SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of more than 2,300 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas. SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 5,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at Staten Island Board of Realtors, Twitter via @SIBOR and Instagram at SIBOR REALTORS (siborrealtors).