I got into the San Francisco real estate game back in the dark ages. Okay, it was 2002 but believe it or not, the MLS was not yet online. It was on the computer but as a downloadable program available only to licensed agents. The real estate agent was the gatekeeper. If you wanted to get to the listing, you had to go through us. 
As we all know, this was not to last much longer. Real estate changed and it changed swiftly. Over the following decade, more and more housing information became public…MLS listings, tax records, ownership information, foreclosure information, you name it. If you want to know what homes are for sale in Noe Valley, you can find out for yourself. If you want to know what your neighbor paid for that “interesting” remodel, you can find out for yourself. If you want to do this whole “purchasing a home thing” on your own, you can do it yourself. 
But should you? 
What is the value of the real estate agent and in particular, the buyer’s agent in today’s marketplace? Why should you work with a buyer’s agent when buying a home?


Context is all. (Thank you sophomore honors English and Margaret Atwood for giving me my favorite catch phase.) Yes, the information is out there. But is it accurate? What does it mean? How do you contextualize it into practical use? 

The buyer’s agent has both breadth and depth of local real estate knowledge. You’ll be looking specifically for what you want while your agent is keeping abreast of the broader market which enables us to help contextualize your home search. How does the listing you like compare? Are there other neighborhoods you should consider that offer more value? We develop a deep understanding of your needs to better advise you along the way. 

“Along the way, Danielle (and team) was clear about what the neighborhood is and isn’t, and offered similar wisdom about what local properties were going for, how the process worked and what we could expect from start to finish. When spending this kind of money, particularly on one’s first house, surprises are never welcome!”

The information is out there but it ain’t always accurate. Many of the public real estate sites are not direct feeds from the MLS so they often have old, inaccurate or misleading information. Go direct to the source rather than through 3rd party aggregate websites. 

Dedicated attention and advocacy. The Listing Agent has a Fiduciary* to the Seller, not the Buyer. *A fiduciary is generally a person you trust. A fiduciary relationship is formed between two parties who trust each other. The trust typically has to do with assets, money or property. In real estate, a fiduciary relationship is created between a real estate agent, known as the fiduciary, and a buyer or a seller, known as the principal. A buyer’s agent, for example, works on behalf of the buyer and must hold that buyer’s interests above the interests of the agent. That trust created requires the highest standard of car and loyal treatment to the buyer. 

You want your offer accepted, right? Crafting a winning offer requires a deep understanding of where the market is right now, understanding seller’s expectations, gauging the competition, and doing your homework to make your offer as compelling as possible. It also requires connections. An experienced buyers agent has relationships with other real estate agents throughout SF. Or they should! Here @ SFhotlist, we have over 18 years of successful sales, meaning we have solid relationships with 100s of agents around the City. 

The importance of this social network for real estate should not be taken lightly. Time and again, our home buyer clients are given the inside scoop during multiple offer negotiations. Why? Because we are well-connected, well-respected and well-liked by our Realtor colleagues. Other agents know that we only work with qualified buyers so they take us seriously and often go out of their way to make a sale happen for us.

And these are just a few of the reasons you should work with a real estate agent (work with us, duh!) when buying a home even and especially now. 
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