Buying a Los Angeles Home | Part 2: Why Use an Agent?

Originally posted on November 21, 2012

Use a Realtor when Buying a Los Angeles Home, Buying a Los Angeles Home DonIf 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, why would you not use an agent and use one 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.

Many Los Angeles home buyers do not fully understand the benefits of using and the role of an exclusive 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 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 absolute best place you are going to find up-to-date information on 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 haysstack.

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 duty 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?  You really don’t save anything by using the listing agent, and in some cases you could end up paying more.

Buying the home does not end the negotiation process. You still have to go through the inspection, and you need someone in your corner who is fully representing you. Because many an escrow has fallen through during this phase.

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 find an agent you trust and put yourself in their hands. You have no idea how much easier your life will become.

Buying a Los Angeles Home – The Series:

Step 1:  Getting ready to buy

Step 2:  Why use a Realtor?

Step 3:  Define your criteria

Step 4:  Start your search

Step 5:  Make your offer (about the purchase contract)

Step 6:  Be prepared to negotiate

Step 7:  Go through the escrow process

Step 8:  The importance of a home inspection

What is not covered in a home inspection

Step 9:  Prepare for your new home

Los Angeles Homes for Sale

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(2) Comments

  1. Jane,

    The buyers who go it alone definitely lose out on savings–and a good deal of knowledge that someone representing them would be sharing with them as well. Great post!

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