Jim M. & Yumi E.
“With real estate agents, it is often difficult to really know the difference between average, good, and exceptional before being required to commit to one particular person or company. Unlike any other real estate people I have ever heard of, Karen and Chris imply a deep understanding of this in their approach, and truly make the decision very easy. To anyone looking to buy or sell in San Francisco, I would offer a very simple suggestion: meet with as many agents as you want, and then just meet with Chris and Karen once. I can guarantee you'll see the difference right away.
They bring a level of thoughtfulness and thoroughness to their work that is just plain missing in most others. After working with them for just a few days, it is clear that you are not only getting the best service you possibly can, but that they are redefining what real estate agents should really be. My guess is that their extensive backgrounds in other complementary professional areas help create this sense. But either way, whether it's legal issues, negotiation strategies, contractor networks, tips on what is really necessary vs. what is frivolous or won't pay off, or anything else, their knowledge is comprehensive and based on solid experience.
We bought our San Francisco house through Karen and Chris, and just sold the same house through them (5 ½ years after buying it). In order to ensure a fast sale at the price we wanted, a few critical upgrades were necessary, and this was when we realized how important it was to have Karen and Chris on our team. Karen knows dozens of experienced and reliable contractors who charge very reasonable amounts for their services. With her running the show, it really is like you’re getting a free general contractor. Under her management we had a new deck added, the kitchen and bathroom upgraded, most of the interior painted, the garden spiffed up, and much more. It is extremely unlikely that we could have had all of the work done on our own for anything close to the cost we paid with Karen and Chris. The relationships they have with contractors are really invaluable, and these should be taken into consideration by anyone thinking of selling a house in San Francisco. In addition to having a good eye for what will work in any given room, Karen and Chris know what changes will really make a difference, and which will be most important to buyers.
After the house looked just as we wanted it to, they of course helped us determine a listing price and marketing strategy. For anyone considering an agent for assisting in the sale of a house, I would strongly suggest asking about different marketing strategies, and examples of how they may have employed them in the past. If they cannot answer coherently, take note. This is a critical part of the business, especially in competitive markets like San Francisco. Your agent should have informed and specific ideas about how best to market your house (YOUR house, not any house) given current market trends. And once your house is on the market and you have interested prospects, or offers, there is no one better than Chris for providing experience, insight, and truly helpful negotiation skills to ensure that you get top dollar for your home.
The result of our efforts to sell our house with Karen and Chris? In one of the worst economies and real estate markets in the past 40 years, we closed for well over asking price a few weeks after our first open house.
I could go on for a while, but as I mention above, the best approach for anyone looking to buy or sell in San Francisco is just to meet them. You will be thankful you did, and may have an entirely new perspective on real estate.”