Housing shortage for buyers leads some agents to shift focus to sellers

East LA agent sheds light on unusual housing market


Merit Realty Group

A photo of Liza Luna Chan of Merit Realty Group

Arlyn Lopez , Community News Reporter

In the third year of the pandemic, the American housing market is still stuck in a strange place with low inventory and sky-high prices.

The rising costs of homes and construction materials for new homes have done little to convince families to buy and sell.

Local real estate agent Liza Luna Chan, of Merit Realty Group in East Los Angeles, provided insight into the housing market.

What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced in the midst of COVID-19 in relation to your real estate firm? 

“It was very challenging if you had a buyer because there was very little inventory. There would be one to three houses for sale on the south side of East Los Angeles and 10 people would put in an offer for one house.”

“You would take a buyer to see multiple houses and their offer wouldn’t be accepted even if it was $10,000 above the asking price. Another client went two hours away to the Barstow and Victorville areas and still couldn’t find anything.”

With these issues, what have you as a business done to try to work through them? 

I’ve turned all of my marketing dollars to being a seller’s agent, focusing on those who are looking to sell their homes. “

Do you see more people looking to sell their homes currently? 

“It’s been a bit better. Before you would have 15 offers on a house in two days but now in about a week, you get some offers: Five to eight at most.”

Are you going to continue looking towards working with sellers over buyers in the future? 

Yes. It’s challenging to have buyers, but also so many sellers keep holding back. I had someone that wanted to sell for $1.5 million while having huge holes in their ceiling as well as needing the entire carpet to be redone. He didn’t want to do the work but wanted the $1.5 million because of the location in Santa Monica. A lot of these sellers have that mentality and nowadays can’t find the number they want.

As COVID cases start declining in California, is the real estate market improving? 

I’m having an open house and having so much [interest]. I don’t know how many people are going to come in but I’m taking precautions to remain healthy because of the latest COVID strain. Sellers are starting to be a little bit more open, they’re not as afraid as when the pandemic started.

Community News produces stories about under-covered neighborhoods and small cities on the Eastside and South Los Angeles. Please email feedback, corrections and story tips to [email protected].