Antonio_ns, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Why can't we get an agent to work for us?

Asked by Antonio_ns, Los Angeles, CA Sat Mar 30, 2013

We have contacted a bunch of agents, most of them that have been referrals and people that my wife actually knows. It seems like no one wants to give us the time of day. I know in this market we are seen as losers since we are first time buyers with FHA financing and a cap of 750k. Plus we both work on the westside of Los Angeles and need to live close to work since we have small children, so 750k doesn't get you a whole lot. Plus the inventory situation is insane! We have been watching houses and prices in our neighborhood for years and there have always been houses for sale, but now there nothing. Anyone know of a good real estate professional for people like us? Maybe someone who could help us get a foreclosure or a short? This is our first time doing this so we need some help.

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Jamie Tian’s answer
Hi Antonio,

I am an agent here in West Los Angeles and I would be happy to talk to you about your options and help you find a home. Unfortunately, the inventory right now in Los Angeles is extremely low and we are seeing multiple offers on most properties, but that doesn't mean its impossible. With an FHA loan, it is more difficult to get your offer accepted among 20 offers but there are things that can be done to strengthen your offer.

Please feel free to contact me at or (310) 717-1321 and let me know more about your situation, your budget, and what are you looking for (location, # of bedrooms, etc). I would be happy to send you over a list of homes that fit your criteria. Also, if you have not yet been pre-approved, you should do that right away before starting your home search.


Jamie Tian
Rodeo Realty
(310) 717-1321
DRE #01920120
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
Hey Jamie thanks for answering. Yeah we have already been pre-approved and are just looking to take the next step. But we have been stalled trying to get an agent to work with us. We did have one agent get in contact with us, but his first question was whether we were investors or a family. When we told him we were a first time buying family he disappeared quick.
Flag Sat Mar 30, 2013
When there's little or no inventory, you (and your agent) have to be more creative.

Frankly, I'm not sure that foreclosures and short sales are the best way to go. People are under the impression (often wrong) that that's where you find good deals. But when inventory is tight, that's one of the first places people will be looking. Now, if you find an agent who says differently, I defer to their opinion. Still....

So, here's the trick: Look for houses that are NOT least not listed as for sale.

For instance, look at houses listed for rent. If you find one you like, make a purchase offer on it.

Or--just drive through communities. Find one that meets your needs. Have your agent send letter to all the homeowners there expressing an interest. That's called creating your own opportunities.

Or try to get a jump on properties. Sometimes people plan on fixing their properties up before selling--new paint, new carpet, etc. Contact suppliers like that. Tell them that you're looking for people who are getting their homes ready to sell. Offer an incentive to anyone who gives you a lead, or to one who gives you a successful lead. Before some on Trulia say that you'd be acting as a real estate agent without a license: You're not giving a commission. You're paying for a sales lead.

And when you get agents who ARE interested in helping you, choose an established one from a large, active brokerage. Reason: They'll hear about properties before they hit the MLS. Example: In my office, there's a sales meeting every week. Part of that meeting involves going around the room, with each agent saying what he/she has clients looking for and each agent saying what he/she has or will soon have coming on the market. There are plenty of times I've seen one agent say, "We'll be having a 3 bed/2 bath in Pimmit Hills coming on the market next week around $375,000. Another agent says, "I've got a client looking for that sort of property; let's talk." And often enough, the property ends up under contract the same day it's put on the MLS. The buyers preview the property and get their offer ready to submit the moment it comes on the market.

Those are just a few ways to find properties in a really tight market.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Dear Antonio,

I don't know what the problem is, you have enough to find a home in the West Los Angeles area. FHA can be a block for some sales, but not necessarily. There are not as many short-sales available, with you may not need to go that route. I just looked at a home for one of my buyers yesterday, in a very nice area that was in the $600,000 range.
The only thing I can think of is that some agents do not work with buyers, but prefer to work with listings only. Others have taken the time to sharpen their skills and become accredited "Buyer Representatives". They work a lot with buyers, including first-time buyers and they love it!
That's what you need, a really excellent, pro-active, and hard working "Buyer Agent" to help you.
IF you are still looking feel free to email me or call directly. I would be happy to discuss your needs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 18, 2013
Hello Antonio,

The FHA financing may be difficult when you're competing with other offers, however it's not impossible. The agent that is assisting you needs to know how to make your offer "more attractive" to have a better chance of the seller accepting. I have worked with FHA buyers before and on the Westside (LA) as well. Feel free to contact me directly at 818-903-2040.

Thank you,
Sara Mehrpouyan CDPE
Rodeo Realty
Direct Phone 818-903-2040
Dre License #01712757

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Sure seems like you will find the right person to service you in this price point. Buyers Agent with experience and knowledgeable. Go to a few Open Houses to see if you find an attentive Agent that you feel comfortable with is a suggestion!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
You certainly don't see this everyday...I' sorry you've had this experience. As an FHA buyer, be prepared to write loads and loads of offers...Agents (although not professional) night have overlooked you because right now the odds are against you.

Hopefully, you get some good names from this post. A lot of what I've done for my FHA buyers is find inventory that is NOT on the MLS...for instance, investors, and for sale by owners. Your odds will be better if you find something that is not yet on the official market.

Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
Westside of LA is my specialty! Contact me directly and I'll be happy to work with you!

Lena Samigoullina
Direct: 310.625.9005
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
First of all I am sorry for your confussion and lack of support! I can't speak for anyone else, but I do know that Melissa and I will do our best to answer all your questions and return your calls in a timely manner. We consider ourselves Professionals and we will deliver our services in such a fashion. We believe in fast curteous service with the ability to meet your needs. The industry is growing and becoming more technology based! I believe we as REALTORS need to be up on all aspects of technology and communication. We are not in the same area ,but will be more than happy to give my opinion on certain matters .
Dan and Melissa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
Hi Antonio,

$750K is not a bad number at all. It's the FHA part that pushes away many agents. I would be happy to talk with you and discuss your options. Nothing scares me. I give my clients loyalty and perseverence for the same in return.

Michelle Menna
DRE 01705488
Keller Williams Larchmont
(323) 272-6657/(323) 559-4422
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013

Call me or email or text me your email address and I will send you a list of homes not yet on the market, that are in foreclosure. If you like any I will contact the seller for you to see if they will sell to you.

Albert Goldberg Broker
800-765-3609 Cellular
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
You're correct the inventory is very low, so we are seeing multiple offers. Using an FHA is more challenging but not impossible.
I would be happy to assist you in your search.
Susan Bo'ur Realtor
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
That's terrible that no one is getting back to you. Have you gotten pre-approved? That may help lock down an agent as they'll know they are working with someone qualified to buy.

I'm sorry to say I don't know the area so I don't know who to recommend. There is a Short Sale Specialist: that is active on Trulia.

Here is a network of short sale specialists:

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
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