In Los Angeles, the frenzied competition of the pre-recession real estate boom has returned. To get a toehold in this hot market, especially in the city’s most desirable areas, you really need a real estate professional to increase your chances of landing your dream home.
Agents advise getting preapproved for a loan before you even start shopping for properties to assess what you can afford. Though property listings can be easily accessed online, agents are indispensable in helping you evaluate listings and advising you through the negotiation process so that you can get the best deal possible.
The agents on this list—who come recommended by friends and online reviews—are skilled professionals who value the longevity of client relationships more so than the bottom line. They are all experts in their regions of geographic specialty.
Though he concentrates in the Hollywood Hills, this Los Angeles native knows every area of the city well. Marc Robinson has lived almost everywhere, so he can guide buyers to the neighborhoods best for them. His background in set design and architecture helps buyers visualize a property’s possibilities. He’s also a semi-professional poker player, which comes in handy in negotiating real estate deals.
A national commentator on real estate trends and breaking news, Connie De Groot is unique among agents in that she welcomes both first-time homebuyers on a modest income and high-profile individuals seeking multimillion dollar properties. A longtime resident of Santa Monica, she’s especially knowledgeable about homes in Westside communities. She’s results-oriented and has never had a property fall out of escrow.
Tony Dowdy, Coldwell Banker
Tony Dowdy has spent his entire 14-year real estate career helping buyers and sellers in Pasadena. He’s a big booster for the city and knows its streets and amenities inside and out. With a wide network of real estate relationships, he focuses on the human element of real estate deals and has even been known to deliver offers in person (rather than electronically).
Northeast Los Angeles, particularly Silver Lake and Echo Park, is the focus of broker Jenny Durling‘s real estate practice. She actively cultivates friendly relationships with other agents in her region of specialty, which can help tip the balance in the favor of her clients when competing offers are on the table. She also prioritizes her clients’ needs over simply closing a deal.
If you need help navigating the booming Downtown L.A. condo market, then you’ll want the hyper-local expertise of Arts District denizen Jeremy Flores. His insider knowledge of Downtown’s pitfalls and pleasures can help you find and score your desired property in an area where demand outstrips supply. Buyers appreciate his responsiveness, customer service-based approach, and creativity in helping them stand out to sellers.
Judy Graff, Judy Graff Real Estate
For those looking on the “other side of the hill,” Judy Graff is a specialist with 20 years’ experience in Burbank, Toluca Lake and surrounding East Valley communities. Clients appreciate her heart for service. She carefully educates clients at every step of the process, which brings a sense of calm to stressful transactions, even as she fiercely advocates on her clients’ behalf.
Born in Glendale, Michael Locke lives in Los Feliz and specializes in properties in his “backyard,” including the Eastside neighborhoods of Silver Lake and Echo Park. He’s especially interested in architecture and design, meaning he’s your guy for properties with architectural significance. He can assist owners in getting properties designated as historical monuments and even wrote a book on Silver Lake history.
Tami Pardee, Pardee Properties
If you’re looking to get into the sizzling Silicon Beach real estate market, Tami Pardee is the expert to call. She has her finger on the pulse of properties in Venice and surrounding areas. Tami is also dedicated to giving back to the community; her firm donates 10% of their net proceeds from each sale to the local charity of the client’s choice.
The husband-wife team of Art Perez and Heather Coombs Perez blend their skills and their names at HeArt Realtors (a Cavanaugh Realtors affiliate), specializing in Culver City homes. Heather lends her expertise in communications and negotiation while Art, who has a background as a general contractor, evaluates properties in the client’s best interest.
Based in Hancock Park, Eli Schneider works all over the city but focuses on homes in central Los Angeles. He stands out for his embrace of technology and offers buyers video production services so that they can speak directly to sellers about why they’re interested in a particular property. Eli’s patient, personal approach is notable, and he’s also a certified negotiation expert.