Misconceptions About Agents Can Hurt You


LOS ANGELES—Buyers often have misconceptions about what a real estate agent can do. These days, with the proliferation of smartphones, iPads, laptops and the Internet in general available anywhere, buyers can make major mistakes by thinking they know everything they need in order to buy a home.

So much so, that they sometimes forego hiring a professional real estate agent to help them purchase a home or property. With so much information about the market, homes for sale and seemingly everything else you can think of regarding real estate, it’s no wonder some are out there thinking that they are know-it-alls when it comes to buying property.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. My first question to those people is “Why reinvent the wheel?” There’s no reason to take on one of the most important decisions of your life, especially when it comes to spending that nest egg that you’ve been saving for years, in order to buy your dream home. It’s a bad idea, plain and simple.

Certainly, there’s a lot of information on the Internet that you can access and see for yourself. But seeing something and making sense out of it are two different things. As a real estate professional, I can tell you things about the market that you will never know by simply looking at a computer screen. Evaluating market conditions on the overall market or just locally is what real estate agents do. Interpreting figures and trends and whether some properties are a good buy are not things you can learn overnight or in a week.

Let the experts help you understand and evaluate the information that you need instead of surfing the Internet through mounds of statistics, graphs and charts. It can be a blur even for the most well intentioned.

A real estate agent not only searches and examines listings, but also provides guidance on market conditions and more importantly on risk so you don’t make bad choices and that’s something you can’t find on the Internet.

It’s also important to know whether you’re financially capable to buy a home. Many also think they don’t need to be prequalified for a mortgage– something lenders and agents will kindly disagree with. Your agent must demonstrate to the seller that you are financially able to buy the home.

Moreover, buyers often have high expectations that may result in much frustration if you don’t have an agent to temper those expectations with real-life advice and some realistic options. Remember, there is no perfect home or property. There are only those that are most suitable to your needs.

Finding the right home for you and your family is never easy so don’t make things more difficult by taking on the task alone. There is help. Talk to agents or your friends and colleagues and get some recommendations so you can find a Real Estate professional to help you find the home you need. Help is only a phone call away.

David Rosenfeld is a Real Estate broker and president of Advantage Real Estate, a Real Estate and investment firm in Santa Monica, and a Rotary Club member. He has more than 20 years experience in commercial and residential property investments and financial counseling. He can be reached at 310 450-4488, at dr@advantage-realestate.comand at www.advantage-realestate.com.

By David Rosenfeld