My partner and I first met Eric at a 2010 Berkeley open house. From meeting many agents in the prior 5 years of open houses, Eric is the most approachable real estate agent and hones in on his client's housing tastes. From other agents, we hated dealing with disgusting and sleazy sales-talk, re-adjusting our glasses to make sure we could recalibrate their inflated ego with their desperation, or simply rolling our eyes at their client pre-conceptions and judgements. These agents kept sending spammy MLS listings based on price range, bedrooms, bathrooms, parking, and neighborhood criteria. Eric actually sorted through those checklist preferences and further filtered them towards modern aesthetic, recently built, and notable local architect involvement. With many clients to meet and hook, Eric actually noted our non-checklist preferences that inspired us to work with him exclusively for the East Bay.
This real estate agent-client relationship went on for 2 years until my partner and I finally bought a place in 2012. I was surprised that Eric kept me on his rolodex for 2 YEARS! Most real estate agents would have abandoned me and most did. During the 2 years, we searched from Berkeley to San Mateo, then to SF, then to Marin, and then back to the East Bay. This guy has zen-honed patience with a fickle clients like us. He was honest and upfront that his expertise was the East Bay and quickly gave us references to other agents in the other areas. Eric knows to keep his laser-focus on the client by not spreading himself too thin.
So what was the process like? We actually went through with an offer, then backed out. Then we submitted a low-ball offer on another home during the trough of the recession to gamble our chances, and then got outbid only for us to rebid. Then we watched the seller's banks drag their feet, and we ripped a direct (translate: mean) email.
So what was Eric like?
When we went sheepish, Eric patiently waited for my partner and I to debate it out, 2 hours in Eric's office. Eric gave us useful comps on the spot and gave us a few hypothetical scenarios to think about. We submitted the offer. The next morning, we called and rescinded the offer. Eric's reaction? He had a good feeling that this was going to happen. He pulled the offer and still wanted to help us find our suitable starter home. He did not produce an ounce of anger or lay on any guilt-trip. He quickly moved on.
When we went aggressive, Eric facilitated our message to the listing agent. When time was of the essence, Eric hustled for us. When we became unpleasant, Eric coached us. Nothing surprises Eric, and he is on his A-game.
During the offer, inspection, and move-in, Eric quickly provided references for home inspectors, cleaners, painters, mortgage lenders, locksmith, contractors, etc. For everything we needed, he would send three referrals so we can start our review to select who we wanted to take our business to. We rarely just lean on the agent that much, but Eric's recommendations typically turned out to be the best in the area. When I passed on these referrals to friends, they would mention how their extensive research or agent turned up the same top-notch referrals.
We would normally recommend Redfin for all other areas, but for the East Bay, you have to go with Eric. He was born and raised in SF and spent the last few decades in the East Bay. Since moving from SF to our East Bay home, we have actually run into Eric at several local places like Homeroom Mac+Cheese and Berkeley Bowl West. How often do clients actually see their agents walk the talk in terms of touting how much they love the East Bay? Eric does!
Without a doubt I recommend Eric as your real estate agent for his unparalleled East Bay knowledge, laser-focus on the client, and ability to tease out how the client emotionally connects to the buyer's process and home itself. Eric was the one who wanted us to love our starter home and not settle, and he never wants buyer's remorse. More than a year living here and finally feeling like East Bay is home, we have no buyer's remorse. Hence fulfilling Eric's wishes and promises, we felt compelled to finally vouch for him. That and we got a Chinese New Year card and nice red envelope from him. Yup, still on his rolodex after 4 years.