We would have never been able to find a house in the white-hot San Carlos real estate market if it hadn’t been for Lisa going above and beyond the call of duty. We unofficially began house hunting in April 2012 and met Lisa at an open house. We liked her immediately for three reasons.
One, she specialized in San Carlos. While most agents we met claimed to be experts on every community on the peninsula, Lisa was a San Carlos expert. Two, she lived in San Carlos, hence her personal expertise. Three, she wasn’t pushy. It seemed like the listing agents at every other open house we went to were as eager to get our business as they were to show the house that they were supposed to be selling.
Last September we called her once we were ready to start bidding. By then the Silicon Valley housing market was exploding, especially in San Carlos, with prices increasing by almost 20% from when we had started looking. Lisa spent countless hours with us looking at homes in and around San Carlos and patiently dealt with the many, many questions that we had.
We were losing bid after bid (I believe 7-8 of them) due to the extreme competition in the area. On more than one occasion we had put forward the highest bids, but lost out to all-cash offers. Thus Lisa was giving us sound advice on how to make a competitive offer, but the nature of this ultra-competitive market meant that we unfortunately kept coming up short.
Now here’s what separated Lisa from your average real estate agent. Early on in our search Lisa had offered to go door-to-door in her neighborhood looking for people who might be interested in selling their homes. We thought that she was nuts, but had no problem with her doing so. Well after about 3 months of failed bids she found someone who was looking to sell their home off-market. We jumped at the chance to see it, especially since it meant that we wouldn’t be competing with ten other offers, which was normal with MLS-listed homes.
It worked. We managed to get a bigger place than anything we had previously bid on or thought that we could afford, and because it was off-market we probably got it for at least 10% lower than market value. In San Carlos that 10% is six figures, so this was a serious savings. Given what’s out there in the market right now, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the value of our house has increased by 20% in less than 6 months.
On top of all that, to say that the seller was a piece of work would be a bit of an understatement, but Lisa dealt with their eccentricities and represented us with the utmost professionalism.
We love our home, we love our neighborhood, we love San Carlos, we’re thrilled with our investment, and we owe it all to Lisa.
Radack Family – 2012