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Tuesday, April 24 News

The Real Deal: Missing out on pre-listing Westport property deals

Attention, buyers -- especially those of you who "only work with listing agents."

By choosing not to be represented by a buyer agent, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage in today's challenging, low-inventory market. You're missing out on a steady stream of superior properties that don't hit the MLS until they're already gone.

You won't find them right away on Zillow, Trulia or realtor.com. These homes are so special and priced so fairly that, once the owner has signed a listing agreement, they get scooped up while being prepared for sale or even during a broker price opinion -- by a buyer represented by an agent in the listing office or whose agent is otherwise tuned in to pre-market properties (as the best agents always are).

These in-the-know agents are able to offer their buyers the inside track on prime properties before the general public gets wind of them. Once they do hit the MLS -- which is commonly done to give the listing and selling agents "credit" for the sale -- the house is no longer available. Buyers who rely on online notification of new listings are frustrated by this every day. How many times has this happened to you?

Buyers who "only work with listing agents" suffer the unintended consequence of being excluded from the local real estate pre-market. This calls into question why so many of today's buyers choose to operate in this way. Foregoing representation just doesn't make sense.

Be smart. Find yourself an in-the-know agent who can provide you access to the full assortment of homes available in Westport and Weston. Doing so will make your home search less frustrating and, in the end, more successful. I promise.

Evi Coghlan's "The Real Deal" appears every other Friday. She is a licensed real estate agent with the Riverside Avenue office of Coldwell Banker and a former marketing consultant to Fortune 100 companies. Evi may be reached at 203-247-6691, by emailing her at evi@evicoghlan.com, or visiting www.evicoghlan.com.