There are some common misconceptions when you are buying a Los Angeles home that you can either do a better job yourself in sourcing a home for sale, or that you are going to get a better deal if you approach the listing agent directly. As I said, these are misconceptions.
Let’s paint a picture of a Los Angeles home buyer trying to find a home on his own. We will call him Mr. Homebuyer, HB for short:
HB starts his search online looking at every imaginable site out there. I can already see the stress mounting.
HB cannot find the phone number of the listing agent and when he does trying to get a callback can be challenging. Imagine trying to get 10 different listing agents to show him their properties and lining up appointments……
HB may call only to find that the property is no longer on the market. Many of these online sites are not up-t0-date. He may have wasted time looking at properties that are not available.
HB may be sophisticated enough to recognize a property listed as a short sale and understand the ramifications of buying one of these properties, but many other Los Angeles home buyers don’t.
HB may approach the listing agent on purpose thinking that he is going to get a deal by going directly because the listing agent does not have to split his commission. But let’s remember who is paying that commission.
There are way too many things that can go wrong when HB tries to buy a home by himself. I will point these out by showing what can go right if HB uses a Los Angeles buyer’s agent.
Let’s see the benefits of using a buyer’s agent:
HB sits down with a Los Angeles Realtor® and together they discuss the criteria for the search. However the first thing that the Realtor® will ask is that HB talk with a lender and get a pre-approval. Without this nothing can be accomplished. The Realtor® will know the limits of the search and HB will not be disappointed by having set his heart on homes he cannot afford.
The pressure is off HB. His Realtor® will build a search that will update at least daily and send out new listings to him which should not include homes that have been sold. And trust that most everything that is on the market will be on the MLS so HB doesn’t have to worry that he is missing something, although I am sure he is still going to peek.
And HB can just make himself available to visit the homes at appointment times that the Realtor® has set up for him.
If any of the homes are a short sale, the Realtor® can find out the background. How many liens are on the property; what kind of experience the listing agent has with short sales; has the process been started; all important things to know in order to decide whether making an offer on the property is viable.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, HB’s Realtor® is going to be representing him and him alone. When a listing agent is representing both sides of the transaction impartiality is a problem. Remember who is paying the commission – the seller. Put yourself in the position of someone trying to negotiate both sides of the deal while not divulging to one party what they know about the other one.
And above all, HB, hiring your own agent is going to cost you nothing.
Using a buyer’s agent is the best money you will never spend.
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