According to Fast Home Help, “93 percent of home sales involve an agent to some degree.” Often, using an agent is the best option, but in some cases, it isn’t. So, to decide which route is best for you, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of using an agent to buy a house in Los Angeles.
Pros of Using an Agent to Buy a House in Los Angeles
The significant pros of using an agent include:
CODE OF ETHICS
If your agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors, then she is bound by a fairly rigorous and strict code of ethics. This code, which member Realtors have agreed to abide by, ensures that Realtors deal honestly with all the parties involved in a real estate transaction and put clients’ interests ahead of their own.
And this code of ethics has some teeth when it comes to enforcement. For example, “local boards governed by the NAR enforce the provisions. Penalties can include a $5,000 fine, a one-year suspension from the association or a three-year expulsion” (How Stuff Works).
When you use an agent to buy a house in Los Angeles, you’ll be able to tap into that agent’s home search advantages. It happens now and then that sellers don’t want to list their homes on the standard listing sites because, for whatever reason, they don’t want the fact that they are selling widely publicized. In cases like these, only your agent will know about these houses when they come up for sale.
For first-time home buyers especially, the amount of paperwork involved can be overwhelming, to say the least. But if you use an agent to buy a house in Los Angeles, you won’t have to deal with all that jargon-laden, legally intimidating paperwork alone. On top of that, much of this paperwork, especially when it comes to offers and counteroffers, has strict deadlines. Your agent can help you stay on top this and also ensure that no critical document is neglected or overlooked.
Maybe the most important pro of using an agent to buy a house in Los Angeles is the negotiating skill she can bring to the table. A good agent has the experience and expertise to get you the best price and the most concessions when the deal reaches the negotiations stage. In addition, your agent possesses that essential objectivity that often eludes buyers when negotiating on a house they really want.
Suppose you find a house you are particularly interested because you want to add a bedroom and fence in the back yard. You certainly don’t want to buy the house and then find out that municipal zoning ordinances won’t allow you to make those changes. A good agent, though, will know the city’s zoning laws and code requirements so that you don’t make such a costly mistake.
Cons of Using an Agent to Buy a House in Los Angeles
Despite the many benefits of using an agent, there are some cons. Still, these cons usually rear their heads only when you don’t use the right agent to buy a house in Los Angeles.
When you use a listing agent, you’ll have to pay a commission – up to 6% of the purchase price. If, however, you’re the buyer and you use a buyer’s agent, you will not have to pay that hefty commission. In that case, the seller will be obligated to pay the commissions and fees.
Another con is those good agents are in demand and usually have several clients they are working with simultaneously. And that sometimes means that you won’t get the attention you deserve because the agent is spread too then. Maybe your calls won’t be returned or deadlines will be missed. A really top-notch agent, though, will ensure that she doesn’t take on more clients than she should.
ANOTHER MIDDLE MAN
When you use an agent to buy a house in Los Angeles, you are adding at least one other person into the mix – right in the middle between you and the seller. And this can often slow down real estate deals, making them more complex and more difficult to bring to a conclusion.
Using an agent also means that you will have to operate on or at least adjust to another person’s timeline. As the buyer, you have your agenda, your goals, and your own timeline, but your agent may have ones that don’t exactly line up with yours. It may turn out that your agent wants to close much sooner or much later than you do.
How to Increase the Pros and Decrease the Cons
Understanding the pros and cons and knowing how to choose an agent to buy a house in Los Angeles are critical. But if you choose to use an agent, where o you begin your search? That’s where we’ve got you covered.