In Los Angeles, the frenzied competition of the pre-recession real estate boom has returned. To get a toehold in this hot market, especially in the city’s most desirable areas, you really need a real estate professional to increase your chances of landing your dream home.

Agents advise getting preapproved for a loan before you even start shopping for properties to assess what you can afford. Though property listings can be easily accessed online, agents are indispensable in helping you evaluate listings and advising you through the negotiation process so that you can get the best deal possible.

The agents on this list—who come recommended by friends and online reviews—are skilled professionals who value the longevity of client relationships more so than the bottom line. They are all experts in their regions of geographic specialty…

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