Home Buying in Berkeley>Question Details

Benita Elias, Home Owner in Tucson, AZ

My husband and I are moving to Berkeley and will be there in March to look at some homes, any realtors who can help would be appreciated!

Asked by Benita Elias, Tucson, AZ Thu Jan 26, 2012

We are looking for a realtor to show us some homes in March, we are moving in a year.

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13
Hello Benita,

I grew up in Berkeley and worked there for quite a few years. I understand you will be coming in March but it may be a good idea to start viewing some homes online..I can send you a list of whats available out there if you like. Good luck and please feel free to call or email me if you need further assistance. Thank you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 27, 2012
Hi Benita,

Because you deserve to have a better deal, we should start looking for list of bank owned homes, and a pre approval letter from a letter would be a great start.

Albert Delacruz
http://www.sanfranciscobayhomes.net
510-688-1390
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 27, 2012
Hi Benita,

Welcome to Berkeley! As you can see from all the responses we have a lot of talented agents in the East Bay and I am sure you will enjoy living here. Without sending repetitive I agree that the best thing for you is to interview a few realtors to find out which one will best fit your style. In this market it might take you a month, 2 months or 6 to get into your dream home so a strong relationship is paramount.

I would love to the opportunity to meet with you and your husband when you are here in March but in the meantime you can read about me on Yelp.com under Catherine Krueger and Marvin Gardens Real Estate. We have 4 boutique offices including 2 in Berkeley so we are well aware of the pulse of the market.

Best regards,

Catherine Krueger
CA DRE 01271748
510-813-0970
Marvin Gardens Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 27, 2012
Benita,

Choosing who to represent you on the purchase of your home can be one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. It's even more important in this area because there are a lot of issues that you need an expert to help navigate, and here are just a few:

Tenancy laws
Old buildings
Local ordinances
Negotiations

And if you are going to consider other areas they can change with every city. Read agent/broker profiles and testimonials, read reviews, ask for references, and interview several until you get the best you can. A bad/inexperienced agent can cost you a lot of money.

I wrote a blog on why it matters that I hope you find helpful: http://www.trulia.com/blog/lance_king/2009/09/it_does_matter…

Foregoing aside, you may want to rent first to take time to get to know the area - Berkeley has a wide variety of neighborhoods - and find the right broker to help you and figure out exactly where you want to live.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
lance@fixedrateproperties.com
415.722.5549
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 27, 2012
Hi Benita,

A property priced right in the Berkeley area can be competitive and have multiple offers. You want to find a Realtor who is savvy in this market and who knows city compliances that will affect how you write an offer like RECO. Interview a few Realtors and find someone who shares your same values. There are many Realtors who have posted that I have had the pleasure of working with and that are quality agents. You may want to check out reviews on the agents that might help your search. I have attached a link to some of my reviews so you can get an idea of how I work. You can also find additional reviews and info on me on Trulia and Zillow. Good luck!
http://www.yelp.com/biz/gina-odom-oakland-2
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 27, 2012
Ditto to all the previous responses Benita. Tomi's response is spot on. I couldn't agree with her more.

I would be honored to be interviewed as well. You can read more about me on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/myhousingguide-oakland-2 Or on my website at http://www.MyHousingGuide.com/about

I wish you the very best, and I know you will love Berkeley!

Linnette
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 27, 2012
Benita, with this kind of request, you are likely to be "deluged" with offers to help My advice is that you:
1) post a few more specific questions to help you get started and
2) interview several Realtors when you first get here to see who may be a good fit for you, and
3) shop for a Realtor relationship you want to stick with long term, rather than simply look for a tour guide.

You may find a home your first trip here, but most buyers find it takes quite a while, even with an active weekly search. Many properties are in contract within 2 to 3 weeks of coming on-market, so the cycle can be fast.. Most buyers end up working with an agent for a long stint before they successfully purchase a home, and many have to write offers on several properties before they are successful at being the accepted offer..
The Berkeley market is quite simply much more complicated and competitive than most other markets, so who you work with can make a huge difference in your ability to get the property you want.

There are many licensed Realtors and agents here and though we often say similar things about our skills and approach to service, but not all Realtors are created equal.

What you want is an agent who listens, has deep market knowledge, is thorough, and explains each step in detail in a manageable way to help you navigate the complexity. You may have to compete in a multiple offer situation for some properties, and not have to compete at all for others, so you want an Realtor who can help you recognize the difference and position you to be successful in capturing a home you really want at the most favorable price. You want someone with a highly developed strategic sensibility and excellent negotiation skills. You will most likely need to learn quite about issues of condition in categories you may not be accustomed to: We have to consider earthquake safety combined with the fact that most of our housing stock is older & architecturally significant. It's all navigable...you just need to be sure you can have real confidence in your agent, and the patience to learn..

You don't want the friendliest agent, who acts like your new best friend. You want a wise agent, with deep knowledge, who insists that it be a good fit both ways. It will be a long relationship, and the agent who interviews you to make sure it's worthy of their time, as well as you making sure they are a fit for you...will likely negotiate best for you. And finally, be sure to choose a LOCAL agent, who knows the micromarkets of Berkeley and the East Bay.

We'd love to have you interview a Marvin Gardens agent, but either way...Good luck in your search, and welcome to Berkeley.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 27, 2012
Benita, Great group of agents who have responded thus far, and of course I am certainly happy to help as well!

Cheers!

Krista Miller, Realtor
DRE# 01441225
Berkeley Hills Realty
Web Reference: http://www.kristashouse.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 27, 2012
In my answer below, it seemed to have included the commas into the links, making them dead links, here they are again: http://www.davidcetina.com and http://www.facebook.com/davidcetinare

Thanks again

Davey A. Cetina
Buyer’s Specialist | DRE# 01887446

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
2095 Rose St, Ste 100 | Berkeley, CA 94709
[t] 510.517.7238 | [f] 510.780.2110
david.cetina@bhghome.com

Servicio en Español
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 26, 2012
We have many well qualified agents at Red Oak Realty specializing in Berkeley properties at our Solano Ave. office in North Berkeley. I will be glad to discuss your needs with you and match you with one.

Arthur G., White
Cal DRE #01273793
art@redoakrealty.com
Sales Manager and Realtor
Red Oak Realty
Web Reference: http://www.redoakrealty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 26, 2012
I'm a Realtor with Red Oak Realty in Berkeley and I'd love speak with you about your home search. You can read the buyers page on my web site http://www.catherinesternre.com. My contact information is there as well. Do you know the Berkeley area already? Where are you coming from? What kind of house do you envision? Catherine Stern - Realtor, Red Oak Realty. CADRE#r01325681
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 26, 2012
I'm sure there will be a plethora of agents will to help you!! I am a Buyer's Specialist (I only work with Buyers, not listings) Please visit my site, http://www.davidcetina.com, or http://www.facebook.com/davidcetinare, and if you would like, please contact me.

http://www.davidcetina.com

Davey A. Cetina
Buyer’s Specialist | DRE# 01887446

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
2095 Rose St, Ste 100 | Berkeley, CA 94709
[t] 510.517.7238 | [f] 510.780.2110
david.cetina@bhghome.com

Servicio en Español
Web Reference: http://www.davidcetina.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 26, 2012
Benita
I'd love to interview for the job.
Reviews and info available at link below
Best wishes
Bill
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 26, 2012
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