Climb any mountains lately? Pass the law boards? Do a military tour in Iraq? Think those are tough? Welcome to land of home-buying on the West Side of Los Angeles, an inhospitable territory that merits the title: Seller's Market.

The West LA market is hot. Diverse geography + year-round temperate climate + major urban city which is expanding and modernizing = an environment that can't be beat. The Silicon Beach phenomenon continues to draw thousands of tech and entertainment professionals to the West Side. The Wilshire corridor is one of the world's most important scenes for business start-ups.

Simply put: people want to live there. Unfortunately, this huge demand is met with limited inventory and little new construction. The result: high competition plus ever higher prices. Just as the West Side is unique, buyers face challenges they wouldn't elsewhere such as multiple bids, snap decision-making, forgoing loan and appraisal contingencies, and all-cash buyers. People making offers well beyond list price is not the exception, it's the norm.

Finding a great home in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Culver City, the Marina or West LA is hard. And buying that great home takes skill, smarts and experience. Select Belle Tsai of Sotheby's International Realty and you get all that, and more.


Before any search for a home can begin, Belle spends time with you and delves into your own vision of your future life style. Besides gaining valuable insights about your needs and desires, illuminating them helps you determine your priorities. A real people-person, Belle is naturally intuitive. Conversation kicks things off, then the knowledge gained is adjusted when you start shopping.

There are innumerable variables when choosing a home - many of which you may not even be aware. Along with the basics - single family vs condo, bedroom count, price - are less obvious concerns such as: move in ready vs fixer, proximity to highways, and area development trends.

Belle uses every available resource to find properties that fit your needs and preferences. She will provide details of each neighborhood to give you an overall understanding, while pinpointing the specific homes that are good fits. You won't waste time viewing unsuitable homes.

When a property has potential, you need to move quickly. Belle takes you to see the property at the first time possible and helps you evaluate its plusses and minuses. With years of experience with contractors, she can reasonably assess the work and cost of alternations. More important, if you find potential in a home that needs remodeling and want to know what you'd be getting into, she can arrange for an architect and/or contractor to accompany you for a professional opinion.


You found the home! Now you have to secure it. Bidding can be the trickiest part. The home, the market, even the season come into play. Knowing whether to come in low and expect counter-offers, high to overcome other bidders, or somewhere in between is Belles forte.

A quick note here: unless you are an all-cash buyer you will want a pre-approval letter from a respected mortgage lender. Savvy sellers know that in this market they do not have to accept conditional offers. Increasingly, sellers ask for proof of funds, credit reports, income documentation and may even require you be pre-approved by their lender. Forewarned is forearmed. If you're not prepared for the battle you will lose the contest. Belle can introduce you to the biggest brokers who cover the gamut of loan options, insure you get the financing you want, and who can do so at market leading rates.

Besides price, your offer will almost always include contingencies and requirements. These are a key part of the negotiation and how you use them can make or break the purchase. Belle crafts offers that maximize your chances of success while ensuring you retain protections throughout the process.

Once you make an offer, a seller can accept, reject or counter-offer. The game-clock is expiring - time is of the essence. Belle will contact you immediately upon hearing from the seller. This back-and-forth can happen multiple times within an exceedingly short time frame. Belle has a 24/7 work ethic. She's immediately responsive to your questions and concerns so that together you can fashion a winning offer speedily.

Contract signed, you're in Escrow. Seller chooses an escrow company as a neutral third party to handle all the paperwork and funds. The purchase typically takes several weeks and problems can arise. These can involve the title to the property, hidden faults in the structure, issues with the sellers (who knew they were in bankruptcy?) or other unforeseen events. Belle has probably encountered every one of these situations. Her experience and cool-head will get you through it safely.


At the close, docs are signed, the purchase funded and documents recorded in the county. You are now a home-owner. Yet even after you receive the keys to your castle, Belle continues working for you. You may need the services of other professionals including handymen, roofers, landscape architects, interior decorators, estate and trust attorneys, and plumbers. She has a coterie of experts to refer who will meet all your needs.

Nothing is as important to Belle as making sure you are wonderfully happy. Clients become friends who gratefully entrust their family and loved ones to her care when they go to buy or sell a home. Belle's greatest rewards are these lasting relationships.


Belle Tsai - Sotheby's International Realty
15308 Sunset Blvd.
Pacific Palisades CA. 90272

CalBRE# 01841341
SIR CalBRE# 899496

This Web site is not the official Web site of Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. does not make any representation or warranty regarding any information, including without limitation its accuracy or completeness, contained on this web site. Real estate agents affiliated with Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. are independent contractors and are not employees of Sotheby's International Realty, Inc.