Yes, you can search the MLS and see everything I can see(except for pocket listings). Yes, you can see what things have sold for. And yes, you can go to open houses on your own and check out most homes. But do you know which buildings require 50% down? Do you know which lenders to go to if a building is in litigation?
Most agents will tell you that they’re an expert, or specialist, in a specific area, but what does that mean? Does that mean they really do know that market? Or does it just mean that they’re lazy and don’t like going out of their comfort zone?
To me, being a downtown San Diego real estate specialist means that you really do know what you’re doing. It means that you know a good value when you see it – not physically see it, but when it comes up in the morning on your hot sheet (I check the MLS everyday to see what’s new on the market, what’s fallen out of escrow and which sellers have made price changes). Being an expert means that I know which buildings have a 1% CCDC transfer fee. I also know which buildings are under litigation and why you can use certain lenders.
For example, did you know that Renaissance is currently under litigation? Did you know that lots of lenders can’t get get you a loan there? The good news is that I know who will lend on it. I also know which buildings are FHA approved and only require 3.5% as a down payment. I also know which buildings have triple pane windows and I know which buildings don’t allow you to have two dogs.
What I’m trying to say, is that there’s a lot of work that goes into being a real estate market “specialist.” If you’re currently looking to buy a home, work with someone who knows that market. If you don’t, you might find that you’re wasting your time. And I know there are a lot of Realtors out there and everyone knows someone in the business – just make sure you use someone because they’re good and not just because they’re your sister’s boyfriend’s uncle’s son-in-law.
If you have any questions about downtown real estate, or anywhere in San Diego, please give me a call. It’s not worth using just anyone…