Why work with a local agent?

My open-house visitors and listing inquiries occasionally work with out-of-town agents. Many of these Realtors are top-notch and I appreciate their professionalism. However, I don’t advocate working with someone who isn’t full-time and San Francisco-based. Here’s why:

1. Local Realtors know the inventory. We’re out on Brokers Tour seeing a minimum of 12-15 new listings each week. By looking with our client’s interests in mind, we can quickly figure out which properties are best suited to their needs. We’ve also seen the inside of any listing’s comparable ‘solds’. This extra knowledge enables us to quickly understand which new offerings are the well-priced ‘hot deals’ that our buyers should jump on.

2. Local agents know the neighborhood details. If you’re looking for a condo, we can tell you right away which buildings have been subject to litigation and which ones have a reputation for noise transference between the walls. If you’re looking at property in a ‘cutting edge’ neighborhood, we know the ‘hot spots’ where there’s stuff going on that we think you should know about. We also know which neighborhoods are up and coming, with good odds of higher appreciation.

3. Local agents can recommend the right contractors and home inspectors. From adding a garage to figuring out the cost of dry-rot repair, we know which inspection companies have the highest credibility and which contractors understand San Francisco’s complex permit process. We can also recommend the best attorneys if you are concerned about land use or rent control issues.

4. A local agent is your best bet for writing a strong offer. A local Realtor with strong professional relationships is like gold for their buyers and sellers. The agent on the other end trusts our reputation for honest and fair dealings, and understands that we are looking out for our client’s best interests. Time and again we beat out our competition because the listing agent knows we can deliver on our promises.

5. We understand the customs of the county. Closing costs are split differently between buyers and sellers in San Francisco than they are in other parts of the Bay Area. San Francisco Realtors are also particular about which forms and boilerplate disclosures are used to craft an offer. Offers that don’t follow local custom can often result in an unnecessary counter offer to clear up the details – and can buy time for another buyer to step forward with an offer.

6. We can respond on a dime. Because we work right nearby our listings, we can do showings on short notice. We can also hustle to personally deliver and present your offer when there’s a time issue.

I practice what I preach. Over the years I’ve bought property in Berkeley, Alameda and Sacramento. While I could have represented myself, I always chose to use a local expert who could navigate me through unfamiliar territory. Each time, I got a great buy and peace of mind throughout the process as they knew how to guard my interests every step of the way and make the escrow period as painless as possible.