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Seana Yates' Blog

By Seana Yates | Agent in Encino, CA
  • Craigslist Crooks: How to Protect Yourself

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Los Angeles County, Home Selling in Los Angeles County, In My Neighborhood in Los Angeles County  |  February 10, 2012 1:49 PM  |  507 views  |  No comments

    If you are one of the millions of people who use Craigslist often, you know there’s a lot of bull on there.  Con-artists and dishonest people love Craigslist for it’s anonymity, ease of use and abundant ready and willing victims.  I’m not willing to give up on it yet, because it still is very useful for a lot of things.  You just have to know how to use it.

    I’m going to focus primarily on the housing aspect of Craigslist in this post, however, many of these tips apply to all sale categories.

    If it’s too good to be true, it is.

    Recently someone called me because I had featured a home for sale on my blog that they had seen listed for rent on Craigslist.  I told the caller that sometimes sellers will consider a lease, and I’d have to check with their agent.  She then told me it was for lease for $600 a month.  I replied that there is nothing that cheap in Los Angeles, much less a whole house in an upscale neighborhood.  That was a fake.

    If you see a 4 bedroom, fully remodeled house for sale for $200,000 or a house in Sherman Oaks for $1000 a month, it’s fake.  Sorry, but we have too many renters in this city for that to ever be possible.  No one in their right mind would ever offer a property at such a low price.

    Double check the phone number.

    I almost fell for a good one last night.  My husband and I found this great house in Woodland Hills for $2600 a month (more realistic), and the photos were SO beautiful (the bathroom above is one of them).  I checked my realtor database and it wasn’t listed with an agent, which is sometimes the case.  But then I realized there were no photos of the outside of the home in the ad, just a bunch of beautiful rooms.  So I copied the phone number and pasted it into the search field.  I got 30 results.  This clearly wasn’t someone who was renting out their income property.  This was a fisher.  A fisher is what I call someone who is looking for your business by baiting you with fake listings, stolen photos of other properties.  Read More...
  • Make sense of this big city

    Posted Under: General Area in Los Angeles County, Quality of Life in Los Angeles County, In My Neighborhood in Los Angeles County  |  January 17, 2012 5:16 PM  |  473 views  |  No comments
    So, you've decided you want to move to Los Angeles.  So you google a few things and then you realize that Los Angeles is friggin HUGE!!  Yes, this county is one of the most expansive cities in the country, so you've got some homework to do.

    Start by looking at a map, such as Google maps or the like.  If you zoom in, it will give you a good frame of reference where Hollywood is in relation to the valley, downtown, the beach and other areas of the city.  Then you'll need details, such as crime stats, demographics, retail and shopping in the area, walkability, school scores, income levels, weather and more.

    I've compiled a list of my 3 favorite websites for this info.  Check it out here.

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