I recently purchased a home in the San Fernando Valley. My agent, Anakatrina Waltz, was a really wonderful ally throughout the process. I use the word "ally" quite deliberately, as she went above and beyond the role of a business-oriented partner with skin in the game. House-hunting is a painful, sometimes stressful process, and the entire real estate ecosystem is incredibly distasteful. Buyers can't help but think that everybody involved is out only for themselves.
Anakatrina was a great advocate for me, watching out for my interests, and making sure I didn't waste time considering houses that really didn't meet my criteria, or that might reflect a compromise I would come to regret. One example: early in the roughly 4-month house-hunting process, I saw what appeared to be an ideal home that "checked the boxes" I had set out as minimum criteria -- especially the wonderfully landscaped backyard. With Anakatrina's help, I made an offer, and after the usual round of counteroffers, it was accepted. At the inspection, I had an opportunity to spend a few hours in the home and noticed that it really would not have been entirely suitable. I had been so seduced by the back yard that I hadn't noticed how small the kitchen was, and how much physical modification would have to be made to make the inside suitable for me. Anakatrina was very supportive of my decision to cancel escrow on that home and helped reassure me that I would get my earnest deposit back.
There are other examples I can cite of her helpfulness, but suffice to say that Anakatrina found the home that met my criteria, helped with the offer and counter-offer process, helped through all the steps of escrow, offered me referrals for workers who could address the findings from the inspection, and reassured me that she would be available even after I moved in to help answer questions or concerns that might come up as I familiarized myself with my new home.
Anakatrina was invaluable throughout this process, and I will always be grateful for her help and support.