When I started my search as a first time homebuyer I considered three different agents. Mark was the only one I found on Yelp, the other two were referred by friends. By the end of the meeting I knew Mark was my guy. As the other reviewers have pointed out, Mark is smart, strategic, plainspoken, patient, a great listener, funny, reachable, polite, professional--basically everything you could hope for in an agent. This is important, because given today's market it could take you...
A year and a half and several attempts before you find a place. That's how long it took me. (I was looking in Silver Lake. If you are, prepare yourself.) Before I found my home, Mark helped me make solid offers on four different places. Take it from me, losing a home correctly in a bidding war, is as important as obtaining a home. You don't want to bid too much--that's a given, but you also don't want to feel like you lost your dream home when you would have bid more. Four times other buyers blew my offers out of the water. Each time stung, but I was able to move on knowing that Mark and I had come up with great offers and that I was only beaten by buyers with way more enthusiasm or money.
Somewhere along the line, it began to dawn on me that I have a knack for picking homes people go bat s**t insane over. If I wanted a home, I'd either have to join the insanity or change my strategy. Mark helped me shift from looking at turnkey properties that would have earned him a nicer commission to fixers with little charm, but lots of promise. Again, Mark was extremely patient. We looked at many fixers and he was invaluable in detailing what it would take to renovate each home. I've never owned a home, let alone remodeled a place, so I wanted to make sure I didn't bite off more than I could chew. In the end, Mark helped me find a fixer with great bones where the remodel wouldn't be too extensive.
We still had to fight for the home--flippers saw what we saw and swarmed. Making the offer was intimidating and Mark was right there the whole time helping me craft offers and counter offers. Because of Mark's diligence, I was able to save a considerable amount of money.
I don't believe in fate, but if I did I'd feel like it was fate to have met Mark, and fate to have waited until the fifth round to land a home. The house is in a better location than any of the other properties I bid on, it's roomier than ones that were much more expensive, it's got great light, a great back yard, a logical layout (many don't in Silver Lake), I can walk to places, it's a stone's throw from the reservoir, etc. I can't believe how lucky I got finding my new home and it's all because of Mark.