Why Use a Real Estate Agent When Buying a Los Angeles Home

By
Real Estate Agent with Power Brokers Int'l BRE# 01439865
If you are selling a Los Angeles home,  you will be using just one real estate agent because you will sign an exclusive listing agreement with that agent which means, yes, that you work exclusively with that agent.  The work involved in selling a Los Angeles home warrants  that kind of loyalty, and you as a seller will be paying commission to that agent and the co-broker who brings the buyer.  Makes sense, right!

Now, if you are buying a Los Angeles home, or renting a Los Angeles home why would you not use an agent exclusively?  There is something called a Buyer Representation Agreement which some agents ask the buyer to sign before working with them, but since they are not really enforceable many of us work on trust.

Los Angeles Realtor

Many Los Angeles home buyers and renters do not fully understand the role of the real estate agent in the transaction.

Who pays the realtor's fee?

An agent does not get paid until a deal is consummated, on the listing side or on the buying side.  And, as a buyer, you don't pay the agent, the seller or landlord does.

Why should I use one agent?  Won't I get more choice if I use several?

No.  Every agent has access to the same information - listings on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  This is the only place you are going to find an active listing.  In some cases an agent may have access to a pocket listing (a home that is not listed on the MLS), but this is extremely rare, almost like finding a needle in a haystack.

Won't I get a deal if I go directly through the listing agent?

I doubt it.  Dual agency (where an agent represents both sides) can be a slippery slope.  Although that agent is bound to represent both sides equally and fairly, remember who is paying the commission....   And, many brokerages don't allow dual agency.  Would you not rather be represented by someone who is 100% committed to getting you the best deal and terms possible?

And why would you want to constantly be searching the internet looking for properties.  You are not going to find anything that your agent won't know about if they are worth their salt, and since the only accurate representation of what is truly available is the MLS, you could be wasting your time, finding properties that are already off the market.  Never mind trying to get hold of ten different agents to set up appointments on ten different properties, half of whom don't call you back.

If you are buying a Los Angeles home,  or even renting, find an agent you trust and put yourself in their hands. You have no idea how much easier your life will become.

Buying or Selling Los Angeles Real Estate

Buying or selling a Los Angeles home can be a daunting process in a city this size, especially if you're new to L.A. Town. You'll need a resident expert to show you around and help you narrow down the areas where you might like to live. I will help you find the perfect home in the right area to fit your lifestyle, budget and needs!

When I list and sell Los Angeles homes for my clients I strive to make the experience a pleasant one. My mission is to provide outstanding service while utilizing the best practices and systems available.

If you are an absentee owner, you'll need someone to handle all the details that you can't handle remotely. That's where I come in - I'm there when you can't be. I also specialize in lease property in Los Angeles.

Westside Los Angeles Real Estate, including, but not limited to:

For more information on how I can best serve your Los Angeles real estate needs, don't hesitate to fill out the contact form or give me a call at 310-473-6919.

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Ambassador
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Tammy Lankford
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)

Oh thanks Jane.  And like I said I truly never plan to do it, but it has happened a few times.  But I've certainly seen it done where one party or the other got the shaft.

Sep 02, 2011 09:00 PM #9
Rainmaker
908,306
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Carla,  LOL

Tammy,  there you go.

Sep 03, 2011 12:27 AM #10
Rainmaker
739,570
Larry Brewer
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN
Nashville Real Estate

Jane - dual agency is almost never used here in Tennessee, buyers are allowed to be unrepresented, but the agents duty is to the seller. I always notify unrepresented buyers that they should not tell me anything that they wouldn't say to the seller. You know little things like I want to offer $150k but I would go up to $160k. What do you think the seller will do when I tell them that?

Sep 03, 2011 02:03 PM #11
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Sharon Paxson
HÔM Sotheby's International Realty, BRE License 01501912 - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - HOM Sotheby's Int'l Re

Jane - I am so glad you addressed the dual agency issue, many buyers think that by going to the listing agent they will get a "deal". Larry did make an excellent point. When there is a dual agency, an agent has one foot on both sides of the line.

Sep 03, 2011 05:45 PM #13
Rainmaker
908,306
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Larry,  that is an excellent point.

Sharon,  and you know which way they are leaning.

Sep 03, 2011 06:02 PM #14
Rainmaker
577,510
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Don't get a home without an agent. It's the best money a Buyer will never spend. Great summary, Jane.

Sep 03, 2011 11:43 PM #15
Rainmaker
908,306
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Wayne, I love it.  The best money they will never spend.

Sep 03, 2011 11:48 PM #16
Rainmaker
813,663
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Jane - Wayne said it perfectly.  I do a lot of Dual Agency, Single Agent transactions because I bring the buyers to many of my listings (which is why I call it Fairfield County's Hidden Gem), but it requires me to educate both sides to the point where they can represent themselves.  That's a lot of work and stress!  I didn't realize that Buyer Agency Agreements weren't binding in your area.  They are binding in my area and taken very seriously.

Sep 04, 2011 10:13 AM #17
Rainmaker
908,306
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Gail, we do have a buyer agency disclosure as well as seller agency, we don't have a binding buyer broker agreement.  And we have to disclose dual agency.  But we are allowed to do dual agency, although some brokerages' policy is not to allow it.

Sep 04, 2011 02:49 PM #18
Rainmaker
518,433
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Jane, you explained it all very well, I've tried to do the same in other posts but I like your style. Buyers don't understand how simple their search will be when the decide to work with one agent and I think they still don't necessarily understand the MLS concept.  We have seller agency, buyer agency and transaction brokerage in Colorado - transaction brokers can help both the buyer and the seller in a transaction without being an advocate for either....

Sep 04, 2011 08:31 PM #19
Rainmaker
607,036
Teri Eckholm
REMAX Results - White Bear Lake, MN
Acreage & Lakeshore REALTOR Minneapolis St Paul

Jane--I find it puzzling that so many still believe they will save mone if they deal directly with the listing agent. I had one buyer tell me that the commission is negotiable. I told him he was correct; it has been negotiated between the seller and my broker. What a buyer pays is also negotiated but it will be zero if I am compensated by the seller in the transaction. Too many informercials and bad real estate advice gurus out there I guess.

Sep 04, 2011 09:20 PM #20
Rainmaker
471,256
Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR
BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253 - Davie, FL
Top Listing Broker

Jane, I am a big fan of the exclusive buyer agreement and strongly recommend that my agents use it. It is good for the agent AND for the client! The buyer can cancel if not happy and so can the agent. It is a relationship after all and I like to make it official :D

Sep 04, 2011 10:27 PM #21
Rainmaker
908,306
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Mary,  that's a new one, transaction brokerage.  Thank you for the compliment, but I am sure you do very well at explaining the reasons to use a realtor to buy or rent.  It just makes sense.

Teri,  everyone is looking for a deal, yet sometimes they will end up paying more and being more stressed than if they had let someone handle everything for them.  They can even save money that way.

Patty, in our neck of the woods it is extremely rare to have a buyer broker agreement.  The buyers don't sit still long enough to sign them.  :)

Sep 04, 2011 11:58 PM #22
Rainmaker
906,404
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

Nicely explained, Jane. We don't use Buyer-Broker agreements here in San Mateo County and Silicon Valley either. I've sometimes thought we should, but ultimately, the trust needs to be mutual to make a relationship work. Buyers NEED an agent working on THEIR behalf.

Sep 05, 2011 02:13 AM #23
Rainmaker
908,306
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Lottie,  I agree 100%.  I don't think those agreements are natural.  Forcing someone to be loyal is not going to work out and those contracts are not binding anyway.

Sep 05, 2011 02:16 AM #24
Rainmaker
471,256
Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR
BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253 - Davie, FL
Top Listing Broker

Jane, it is the exception here too... but I still like it and recommend it to be used.

Sep 05, 2011 08:44 AM #25
Ambassador
1,105,445
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

I especailly like the part about dual agency and getting a deal. People have many false impressions.

Sep 05, 2011 10:49 AM #26
Rainmaker
908,306
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Patty,  they are great if you can get them.

Melissa,  they do. I think dual agency is scary.

Sep 05, 2011 03:25 PM #27
Ambassador
622,160
Marilyn Boudreaux
Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s - Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor

I dislike it when buyers call the signs and already have a realtor!  We try to educate buyers CALL me I can show you anything and yet they still go around calling agents on the sign.

If I get a call on my listing and the buyer wants to write an offer I become a dual agent which I also dislike...hard to not be bias in my opinion how can you service both clients yet we have agents making a living at both sides here in LA.

Sep 10, 2011 12:45 AM #28
Rainmaker
908,306
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Marilyn,  I really don't get it.  I had someone call me on a listing she thought was mine (on my site) a $35K rental.  Her agent was out of town.  I wouldn't show her and I wouldn't give her the listing agent's no.  I told her to contact her agent.....

Sep 10, 2011 12:47 AM #29
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