Locals Only

by keithwatts on June 15, 2011

in Buyers, Latest News, Sellers

Do you sell homes in Irvine?  Of course I can, but I really shouldn’t.  Let me rephrase that, I’m not an expert in Irvine and you would be better off with an agent who is an expert in Irvine Listings.  For the record I recommend Paul Conti at Prudential.  I know the argument against what I’m saying, “Now that all the MLS data is merged an agent in Buena Park has the ability to see all the information on Aliso Viejo Listings that an agent in Aliso possesses.”  I also understand that now customers can see the same information on websites like Zillow, and REALTOR.com.  But as usual, I would say that this access to information means local agents are more important than ever.  Here are some reasons why:

Speed-Rapid communication means rapid decisions.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a sign call, or had a buyer find a home on their way home from work and my ability to get to that property in less than 5 minutes made the difference.  A good deal is a good deal and in many cases the first offer in the door gets the deal.  If your agent schedules showings to avoid traffic, or can’t get to a property quickly because of traffic you may miss out on your dream home.

Relationships-Local agents know local agents.  I’ve never done a deal with Sandra Williams at Star Real Estate but we come across each other all the time.  She is awesome, she always shows my listings, I’ve helped her on a Broker Price Opinion, and she is a pleasure to speak with.  All other things being equal on a multiple offer situation I will demand my seller take Sandra’s offer.  I trust her, and this is because I know her.  It’s unlikely an out of area agent can gain my trust quickly.  Please note the above quote, “All other things being equal”

Knowledge-I grew up on Laguna Niguel.  I went to Moulton Elementary, Niguel Hills Junior High, and Dana Hills High School.  When I was a kid I used to ride my dirt bike on the field that is now Marina Hills.  I’ve watched every new home in Aliso Viejo being built, and there is no way an out of area agent knows more about Aliso Viejo Listings than me.   Schools, proximity to roads, noise, wind, light, coyotes, biking trails, good surfing spots, commute times, jobs, restaurants, community events, and even crime rates (although Aliso Viejo really doesn’t have much)  are all things I know well.  No one from Anaheim Hills is going to be able to give you the information I can provide on Aliso Viejo.  This is not trivial facts, its precious information when considering the location of your family’s next home. 

A member of the California Association of Realtors can sell a house anywhere in California.  I sold a house in Santa Barbara (to my best man and childhood best friend) and my wife sold a house in Vista (also incredibly close family friends) and I say that as a matter of disclosure and to avoid coming across as too big a hypocrite but in each case I made it clear to my friends that we were going to experience challenges because of the need for speed, relationships, and local knowledge.  In each case my friends felt it was worth the challenge but I recommend everyone consider a local agent when buying or selling your next home. 

PS-Just referred two houses this week, and got a referral from a close friend in Victorville.

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