Please do not take this the wrong way; I really just want you to be able to avoid unnecessary risk, but ...ahhh...do you have commitment issues? ;-)
Buying a property in the Bay Area is a significant investment - you know it's not like shopping for Groceries. Perhaps if you had to navigate 100+ pages of contract, inspection, escrow, and other transactional docs while remaining on a set timeline to buy Groceries you might consider hiring a Personal Grocery Shopper.
Obviously, "some people" are not sufficient as an informational source when purchasing real estate. Please hire a RealtorÂ® Buyer's Agent to protect your interests (which the Seller pays for) and show you property listings of homes that are actually for sale.
Based on your question you might also be interested in this post:
MLS Data Accuracy â€“ Where to search if youâ€™re â€œwithout RealtorÂ®â€