A Brief History of Real Estate Brokers

Real estate brokers and agents have been around in the United States for at least 165 years at this point. The early days of real estate we quite a bit different than they are today, not only from a pricing standpoint. Real estate transactions were handled differently long ago, though the basics have not changed in the last 70 years other than the introduction of the internet. Read below to learn a little bit more about the history of real estate and real estate brokers in the US.

Although there was an attempt to start a real estate association in the late 1890s, it didn’t occur until 1908 when the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges was founded to bring brokers and agents together to facilitate the selling of homes. Though the company was created to help facilitate the sale of homes and did work to bring the brokers and agents together so the sales would go smoothly, there was no certification or licensing required. This was changed by the association in 1919, however. The practice of selling homes in this era was a dubious practice at best as brokers, known as curbstoners, placed multiple placards in front of homes trying to compete leaving homeowners to simply pick one of the multitudes.

 Initially, when a home was for sale, the agent would bring potential buyers to see the home one at a time. The first open houses occurred in the 1910s which allowed multiple people to view the home at one time and meant it was more likely that a buyer could be found quickly. New developers used this new practice to showcase the latest in building technology by showing homes with electric lighting, improved kitchen layouts, and more.

In 1925, the National Real Estate Journal presented the idea of presenting furnished, or ‘staged’ homes for review to give buyers a feeling of already being home.  In the 1930s and 1940s, real estate agents used one open house to create sales networks of multiple homes to present to buyers.  If one house was not desired, then agents could present several in their network to improve the chances of a sale.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the post-World War II world saw a boom in real estate sales as soldiers coming home looked for a new place to call home and raise a family.  Homes entered and exited the market in rapid time.  This was the first time the term “Realtor” was used, and women became realtors in record numbers.  Finally, in 1952, the use of model homes emerged in Dallas, Texas to present a finished home to thousands of people representing another built unit for purchase.

Since the 1950s, not much has changed in the way real estate transactions are done. Prices for homes have risen significantly in this period, but the real estate brokers generally handle the same tasks they have handled since the 1950s. They have continued, however, to learn new ways to help sellers find the right buyer and to help buyers find the right homes to purchase. Though the basics for how they work have remained the same, the advent of the internet did have an impact on brokers.

With the internet, it became easier for brokers to connect with each other and improved the ability to buy and sell homes. It made it easier to list homes, find potential homes, and to schedule appointments to see a home or to talk with someone about selling a home. Now, with videos and photos available, it’s possible to see a lot of what a home has to offer before going to view it in person. This has helped streamline the process of buying a home, making it easier for buyers to find their perfect homes.

In the past 70 years, the sales of homes have remained the same.   The internet has made it easier for buyers and sellers to connect and for brokers to facilitate real estate transactions. New techniques and advances in technology have allowed Realtors and agents to improve their craft, real estate knowledge, sales practices, and relations with buyers and sellers alike.

At Whipple Auctions & Realty, we take pride in utilizing the latest technology, sales practices, and marketing techniques to help our clients toward the best results for their needs whether buying or selling. If you’re in the market, we welcome you to the Whipple family and look forward to working with you! With experience, knowledge, and trust since 1975, you can rely on our professional service and personal attention to make your real estate goals a success.