Many first time home buyers in Los Angeles think that using Zillow for their property search is the right approach but they could be missing out on great properties!
Although Zillow receives most of its listing information from the local Realtor's MLS website (Multiple Listing Service), Zillow doesn't always update their information in real-time and many buyers spin their wheels looking at homes in Brentwood or Santa Monica for example, that are either already in escrow or already sold. Furthermore, the Zillow estimated property values can be off by tens of thousands of dollars which can very misleading especially in high priced real estate markets such as Beverly Hills, Bel-Air or West Hollywood. Instead, your Realtor can provide you with a "Property Value Assessment" of a home you are interested in buying, in order to have a more accurate opinion of the asking price.
A Realtor can set you up on the Los Angeles MLS website as a customized search of a condo or a house (for example Culver City or West LA) that will give you the most up-to-date and accurate property information. By starting your search with the official Realtors' MLS, you will always be one-step-ahead of other home-buyers in this competitive Los Angeles Real Estate market.