Buying or Renting a Home in L.A. Don’t Shoot the Messenger

When buying a home in Los Angeles you hopefully will and should have your own buyer representation through a Los Angeles Realtor®.  And sometimes you will use a Realtor® when you are looking for a Los Angeles rental property.

Remember that when you choose your agent they are working for you and no one else.  Their duty is to you the buyer or renter. They also do not call the shots, the seller or landlord does.

So if you receive certain requests for information when writing a purchase contract or sending a rental application understand that your agent is simply following the requirements of the listing side.  These are some of the things you may be asked for:

Buying a home in Los Angeles

  • A pre-approval letter from your lender as opposed to a pre-qualification letter.  The difference between the two is that the latter is simply an educated guess by the lender based on figures you have provided and maybe some paperwork.  A pre-approval is much more respected since it means you have provided the lender with all the paperwork they need and that they have run your credit report so they know definitively how much home you can afford and at what interest rate.  This is generally what a seller wants to see.
  • You may be asked to get a pre-approval through the seller’s choice of lender. You don’t necessarily have to get your loan from that entity but they want to be sure that you truly are qualified.
  • You may be asked to provide proof of funds. It seems ridiculous when you are already pre-approved but sometimes sellers want further proof that you have the money for the down-payment.
  • You may be asked to provide a pre-approval letter before the seller will allow you to see a home. This is generally for the high-end market when they want to avoid the looky loos.

Renting a home in Los Angeles

  • Your credit will need to be run.  Sometimes you will be allowed to run your own full report, but often the listing side will want to run it.  They will ask you for your Social Security Number and around $25 for the search.
  • You will probably need to provide proof of funds via two months worth of bank and/or investment statements.  You may black out the account numbers.
  • You may be asked for two months worth of pay stubs and/or a tax return.
  • If you do not have good credit, and certainly if you have no credit you may have to pay several months or more rent up front and/or provide a guarantor who will sign the lease.  The guarantor will have to provide all the paperwork above also.
  • If you have pets the landlord may want to interview them and may ask for a pet deposit

Depending on the seller or landlord these are examples of the paperwork which may be required. Many buyers and renters cannot understand the need for all this and we Realtors® who are representing them often get the brunt of the frustration. But we do not control what is needed. We can do our best to try and get around some of it but are rarely successful. And none of this should be taken personally. This is after all a business transaction and the seller and landlord want to protect their interests.

Our job is to get our clients the property they want. It is not in our interest to put up roadblocks. So please understand that we are just the messengers.

Homes for Sale in Los Angeles


Need Help? Have questions? Fill out the CONTACT FORM or call Jane at 310-351-9208

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top