I met Ken through Estately.com -- a listing site that paired us up. Sounds like match.com or okcupid doesn't it? We quickly set up a first house hunting date to drive around Oakland and look at some promising properties. Upon meeting Ken, little did he or I know we were in for a marathon house hunting session for 9 months, a pretty good amount of time to get to know each other by any relationship standards. While I was generally looking at purchasing a property in the East Bay, he is most familiar with properties in Oakland, but it didn't stop him from accommodating my home searches further south to San Leandro, San Lorenzo, and Hayward areas. He communicates well -- a rare find -- and consistently made concerted effort to be MY realtor, representing my interests and taking the time to explain the jargon riddled real estate speak -- I trusted Ken fully to find me a good home for a good value. I highly recommend Ken as he was professional, patient, personable and the perfect buying agent for me.
To illustrate his many wonderful qualities:
Ken met my mother on our second house hunting session and left a very good impression -- very impressive, as with most parents, this requires a lot of patience! He had a client meeting after our viewing session and had informed us of an open house nearby that we could visit and time wise it was ending soon. He called ahead to let the agent know we were on our way and confirmed that they would wait for us. When the showing agent, not the listing agent, for the open house refused to show us the property upon asking us if we were already working with a realtor yet, because she had better things to do and it didn't serve her to show us the home if we weren't going to be her potential client -- very unprofessional, Ken came to the rescue! He came back to open the home for us. Lucky for us his other client was running late.
I must've physically visited easily a hundred properties, and looked at several hundreds online in the wee hours of the morning. We looked at a wide range of houses in various maintenance and financial states from - REOs, Short Sales, Fixer-Uppers to Turn Key homes. In a market with slim pickin's and also saturated with buyers, initially we had written offers and found we were beat out by 20+ offers mainly because I had budgeted on the smaller side. Everyone was offering 10-13% above asking price. What a frenzy! Ken always thoroughly explained the procedures and my options and kept me appraised of his progress. And unfortunately in this market it did not matter what comparable prices homes were sold for in the past 6 months because everyone was over bidding. Having a pulse on the market, I adjusted my budget, we strategized and together we made very competitive offers towards the end of our search. We received multiple counter offers and the competitive offers allowed us to have a conversation at the bargaining table.
Ken was key to getting me the home I wanted. We were tied up in a short sale contract for more than a month. And because the housing prices, not to mention interest rates were jumping up so quickly, I was ready to move on and keep looking. We visited another 3-4 properties when I specifically had my sights set on one particular property for location, curb appeal and also that it was mostly updated. Though he didn't need to accompany me to this open house, having Ken with me showed that he cared and in turn made an excellent impression on the selling agent -- very professional & personable! He had encouraged her to counter us. She was more willing to work with us in a multiple counter situation than with a higher bidder she didn't meet and build rapport with. When we visited, Ken had called ahead and spoke with her. She had estimated she would receive 10 offers, but she had received 20+ offers and the highest offer clocked in about 22% above the asking price. Ridiculous. I still pinch myself to see if it's real. We closed quickly and thus ending our whirlwind real estate search of a romance!
If you want excellent service and expertise work with Ken Lee.