How Does This Los Angeles Real Estate Agent Thing Work?

I feel compelled to explain what exactly a Los Angeles real estate agent does because I believe that we are a misunderstood lot.

My website garners a fair bit of attention, specifically when people are looking for Los Angeles homes for sale or rent,  and I often get requests from individuals about a listing they have seen on my site.  Either they want more information, or they want to make an appointment to see the home.

This is where the misconceptions start:  When you visit a website with a home search function you are looking at a feed from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which is available to all real estate agents.  When you contact the owner of that site, whether an individual or a brokerage, you are probably not contacting the listing agent.

Now here’s where the plot thickens.  Sometimes the buyer is trying to get hold of the listing agent under some misconception that they are going to get better service, or a deal. This is a big mistake.  If you don’t have your own representation there are many reasons you should, as I  discussed in this earlier post.

But most of the time the buyer is represented and is calling for information or to make an appointment to see a property.  Where is the agent?

So here’s the thing.  Your agent is getting paid.  Why are you doing the work?  A good Los Angeles real estate agent knows what you are looking for and is going to be on top of the market.  They will send you listings as they come up on the MLS, and who knows, they may hear of something that isn’t on the market.

When I ask why the agent is not making the call I hear excuses like “Oh, they are so busy, I don’t want to bother them.”   That is a classic.  I would immediately find another agent.  The first question a listing agent is going to ask is if you have representation.  If you do they are going to tell you to have your agent call.  It is one thing to walk into an open house on your own, but totally another if you are going to make an appointment with the listing agent to preview a home without your agent.

Finding a home takes a lot of work, and it is work that your agent should be heavily involved in.  If you are not receiving constant listing updates from your agent, or are not getting the right kind of listings from them, then I would seriously question what they are doing to earn their money.

Los Angeles is a home sellers’ market in most areas.  If your agent is not on top of the process right at the beginning, someone else’s agent who has been, will be the one armed and ready to write an intelligent offer.  All you should be doing is checking your emails and picking the homes you would like to see.  The rest of the work should be up to your agent.

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