Dear Carol and Ira,
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how good it is to have you as my real estate agents with the hope you will share this with others. Having bought a house with your help a few years ago, and now, selling a house in the depth of the real estate recession, I have had a chance to work with you in many different settings and feel I can comment on a relatively full range of your roles.
Back when I bought my house it was the peak of the housing price bubble and it was complicated further by the fact I was living out of town and had little time to come to Berkeley to house shop. But you were able to get a perfect sense of the sort of house, price and location I wanted, sent me by email wonderful information–pictures and other details so that I was able to find the house I wanted in one not-so-long day of visiting houses with you. You made all the purchase negotiations understandable and clarified problems, solutions, priorities concerning a very cute, but vintage (70 year old), house north of campus. You streamlined the paperwork flow in spite of my distance from town via fax/Fedex, etc. After we bought the house you helped us for months with advice on movers, local resources for odds and ends concerning the house, and a myriad other details that made the process of moving in comfortable and reassuring. You even helped answer questions about real estate purchases in LA and provided referrals for an outstanding agent in that city.
When I decided we were going to move in 2009, in the heat of the economic fires of the time, you were truly empathetic to my concerns as I struggled to decide how to proceed. You provided information to compare renting versus selling. When I decided to sell, you again made the process so efficient and successful. You identified key things to do to make the house most appealing for the sale, again quantifying things to compare those costs against the possible gains. You arranged all those preparations that we agreed upon so that I only needed to write a few checks. You kept me posted on every step of the preparations of the house, the development of a wonderful website that made the house look spectacular. On the first week of open houses, in the midst of this economic crisis, we not only had several serious offers but they were above our asking price and nearly at our purchase price at the peak of the market a few years before!
The process of negotiations again required essentially nothing from me that I didn’t want to involve myself. In the midst of the negotiations with the buyer you handled some surprise issues with the neighbors that came up around the property lines as well as assuaged the buyers through the process. When the stream of paperwork started, things were even easier than last time. You now use a state of the art electronic signing process that allows all the paperwork to occur by email me to see the documents if I wish and allows me to sign all the pages just by pushing a few buttons. What used to involve faxes and searching for signature lines is now a thing of the past. The signing of the documents was even a bit fun!
Through all of this your good humor, range of knowledge of real estate in general and the Berkeley area in particular, makes me wonder why one would want to use anybody but you for buying or selling a house.
Thanks again: it’s really a privilege to work with you.
David Braun, MD