Homebuying experience: Novice
Buyer outlook: Cautiously optimistic
Home: solar-powered hilltop Victorian aka green living #goals with views
Location: Los Angeles
Biggest obstacle: the sheer magnitude of the process
Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? Well, if you’re anything like Clarence, if the thing you’re putting off is buying a house – especially in a highly competitive market like Los Angeles – just the thought of how much work (not to mention cash) necessary to undertake this feat is enough to make anyone hit the snooze button on the whole project.
“The process was too overwhelming,” he said. “I was just intimidated by the entire thing.”
After months of researching mortgages and watching from the sidelines, Clarence finally decided it was time to get in the game. His first step? Attending an open house. The good news was that he liked the property. The bad news was that offer due date was rapidly approaching – and he had no idea where to begin.
Fortunately for Clarence, a friend of his, who had recently used Open Listings to buy his own home, directed him to the service.
“I contacted them, and the offer was due right away,” he said. “They had to move at the speed of light.”
The difference an OL agent made
While, ultimately, he didn’t get that house (there were 27 competing offers), his Open Listings agent, Beatrice, encouraged Clarance to stick with it – something he says he wouldn’t have done otherwise.
“I almost gave up so many times.”
“I was tempted so many times to just give up on the plan and go buy a condo somewhere,” Clarence said. “But because I felt so comfortable working with Beatrice and she just said ‘We’ve got to keep on trying,’ I trusted it, and I just stuck with it. I almost gave up so many times.”
Clarence explains that his agent took the time to educate him. She helped him go from being anxious, inexperienced and intimidated by the process to being confident, determined and prepared to buy his dream home.
“Part of the reason I got deeper into the home buying process was because of the education that Beatrice offered from day one,” he said. “She educated me from being a complete novice who was so green and would’ve just died on his own to someone who was actually able to put together competitive offers. After that, I was more comfortable to start engaging more regularly in home offers.”
According to Clarence, it wasn’t just the education and dedication of his Open Listings agent that stuck out to him. It was also the control he had throughout the process. He felt empowered and supported by the Open Listings team rather than pressured, like he had initially expected.
“I didn’t want to lose a lot of my control by having to outsource it to a real estate agent who would push me in one direction or another direction and not provide,” he said. “With Open Listings, I got to choose everything. I could choose what type of property and pivot this direction, that direction and not worry about the real estate agent being mad because I didn’t go with their recommendation.”
At the end of the day, it’s this control, this ability to steer the ship however he saw fit that helped him find his dream home.
“I probably wouldn’t have ended up buying a house had I gone through a traditional agent,” Clarence confessed. “Things just lined up the way that they needed to through Open Listings, but otherwise I probably would have thrown in the towel and said, ‘This is too stressful. This is horrible. Forget about it forever.’”
Clarence attributes some of his confidence in the process to his agent’s knowledge of the local market.
“She knew everything so intimately,” he said. “She knew everything that was happening in every single corner, and she was able to understand so much of the inner workings of the West Coast real estate market. That allowed us to make sure every offer was the most competitive and that all the terms were consistent with what was needed at that exact date and time.”
Keep at it – and use your refund
Clarence hopes his story will inspire others to keep at it, too. His advice to buyers embarking on their own homebuying journey?
“Stay open-minded and stick to a plan,” he said. “Work with your Open Listings agent to outline what you’re looking to accomplish, and they’ll tell you a plan to make that happen. No matter what, stick to the plan because it’ll eventually work. It was way better than anything I would have ever imagined at the beginning of the process.”
Clarence also advises OL buyers to keep their 50% commission refund in mind as he believes it increased his ability compete with other buyers in his market.
“I was able to give them a more competitive offer than I normally would have because I knew I was going to get that back at the end,” he said. “I was able to calculate that into my offer and actually go beyond what I normally would have, so it gave me an edge over all of the other buyers.”
“It’s the modern way to buy a house.”
While Open Listings turned out to be the perfect for his Millennial homebuying needs, he says it’s not just younger buyers who can benefit from the service. In fact, his mom plans to use the service on her next home purchase.
“It’s the modern way to buy a house,” he said. “This is the future of home buying, and the old way should be obsolete.”
Buyer stories are based on interviews with Open Listings customers. Participants in Open Listings buyer stories have been compensated with a $100 gift card for their time. Their quotes have not been altered, except for brevity or grammar.