Today’s consumers have a wealth of information available to them. When it comes to real estate, most people don’t need more data, they need a guide to interpret that data and sort through what’s accurate, and what’s most important in achieving their goals.
My job as real estate advisor is not to simply give you information, or to tell you what you want to hear, but to actively listen to you and provide expert guidance–to be both your guardian angel and your devil’s advocate.
MY GOAL IS FOR YOU TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS!
My top priority is to listen to your needs and understand your goals: when we visit homes I want to see them through your eyes. In everything I do I will be striving for you to become an informed consumer. And I will help you maintain your sense of humor through the buying process, regardless of the market!
- With over 21 years of experience, I have represented over $75M in buy-side transactions, helping buyers purchase condos to multi-million dollar multi-unit properties, in all architectural styles.
- I look forward to sharing customized knowledge about our local market to help you identify your best options.
- Once we identify a home that you wish to pursue I will strategize with you about how to best structure your offer, based on the property, the competition and the market at the time, so that you it has the greatest possible chance of being accepted.
- I pride myself in highly effective offer presentations for my buyers. You may not think this is an important aspect, but it is!
My top priority is to get you top dollar for your home, while keeping the process as stress-free as possible. To that end:
- My listings sell an average of 12.1% above original list price, and all of my residential listings have received multiple offers. That’s a remarkable record!
- Average days on market is 19.
- In Berkeley my listings sell an average of 12.6% above original list price; the market average is 3.9%. My days on market is 17; the market average is 31.
- In Oakland my listings sell an average of 14.8% above original list price; the market average is 0.6%. My days on market is 22; the market average is 38.
- In all markets, my listings have sold “on schedule.” I like to schedule two Sunday open homes whenever possible, followed by offers being received on a set date.
I have a special passion and expertise regarding vintage homes:
- I have written articles for Old House Interiors, a national magazine devoted to period homes, especially those of the Arts & Crafts movement.
- I have a network of artisans and contractors who are knowledgeable of and sensitive to period-appropriate improvements
- Owner of a Berkeley landmark designed by Julia Morgan. My description of my house was also featured in Old House Interiors.
I have a special interest and extensive knowledge about conserving energy and sustainable building. I’d be happy to recommend highly-trained building performance contractors who can help you evaluate a home’s energy efficiency and indoor air quality. I am proud to have been one of four agents nationwide to assist in forming the GREEN designation of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which I hold. I am also the founder of the Berkeley Association of Realtors (BAR) GREEN Council.
CERTIFICATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
- I believe in continually educating myself and improving my skills. I’ve earned the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation, which requires rigorous training in listing and selling properties. Only 4% of all Realtors have earned this designation.
- I was proud to serve as President of the Berkeley Association of Realtors (BAR) in 2007, and to have been elected as a Director at the State level (CAR) for four years. I served as Chair of the MLS & Technology Committee, and in all officer positions over numerous years, and I continue to be active on several committees.
- I served as President of the East Bay Chapter of Women’s Council of Realtors in 2011, rekindling the chapter by increasing membership from a struggling 9 members to a strong 33.
I’m a California native who has lived in Berkeley since I was 16, when I came to study at the University of California. I have been very much influenced by the rich, diverse culture this area provides. It would be my pleasure to share some of my favorite places with you, and some of the reasons I think this community is so special.
I would enjoy being your guide in Alameda, Albany, Kensington, El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oakland or Piedmont. If you are looking in other areas, I will be happy to personally select another trusted agent for you in any area in the US.
Please peruse my recent client testimonials. If after reading their comments you think we might be a good fit, let’s sit down and talk about your needs. If you’d like more information I am always happy to discuss real estate!
5.0 star rating 2/8/2015
Arlene was a consummate professional and a warm and real human. I sold real estate before I had kids and I have a very clear opinion about what a Realtor's role is and what is expected of him/her. Arlene was great - patient and helpful - hence, my third transaction with her in less than three years.
It was a quick one-two-three real estate punch for us with Arlene - three transactions in under three years! We bought a home, lived there for 2 1/2 years before deciding to upsize. We sold that one while at the same time buying another. While we stood to make a gain, it was Arlene's insights and knowledge that let us maximize our investment and made the home we put on the market a real show stopper. One of the really stand out considerations is that Arlene stayed vigilant with our budget as we did some update work. She helped us sort out where money should be spent and where money could be saved while helping us create a dreamy, updated kitchen.
What is important is that Arlene was very helpful in guiding us in preparing the home for sale. It received a phenomenal number of offers and the top three were well over what our wildest expectations had been. Granted, the Berkeley market can be a little wonky; however, I am certain that under Arlene's careful tutelage, we not only had a home ready for sale, we also turned over a home to the buyer that they were very happy with, and we received more than top dollar. This was a win- win- win in a crazy market.
Now that we have been in house for several months, Arlene is still a resource, available for a phone call or an email if I have a question. Service did not stop at closing - she is still more than happy to share her knowledge.
WOW... to write this review brings tears to my eyes. I am now a believer in "real-estate fate" as well as "realtor fate". As a first time buyer, I am positive that I was truly meant to meet and work with Arlene. I came to the table knowing very little about buying a home and Arlene was an unbelievable educator. From our first meeting, she was realistic, forthcoming, and enthusiastic. I felt an immediate connection and left feeling very excited to begin. Throughout the whole process she was a patient listener, wickedly hilarious, and very very insightful. With all of her help and expertise, I found, well... the home of my dreams!
Arlene brings an entire world of knowledge and experience to real-estate that is truly awe inspiring. I continue to contact her with my first-time home owner questions as well as for referrals, which have all been excellent. She is always extremely helpful and even responded to an email I sent about my utilities while she was camping :):) I am fortunate to have found such a gifted realtor who is also a wonderful person. It has been a joy working with Arlene!!
Can't say enough good things about Arlene Baxter. Purchasing my first home - it could have been one of the most stressful experiences I can imagine, but Arlene made it workable, all the way. She was patient and clarified all my naive questions, and helped work out so many daunting details that would have frozen me in my tracks. A +++ all the way. I am so happy in my house, and it suits me in a way I couldn't imagine at the beginning of this process. Bravo Arlene!
Newly arrived from the east coast almost a decade ago, we were looking for a realtor who both understood the local market and knew how to introduce its vagaries to newcomers. Within three months, we bought a house we loved. At that time, when we signed on with Arlene, we quickly discovered that she had those qualifications and much more: a deep knowledge of local history, architecture, a sense of humor, and emotional intelligence. She understood when to advise and when to hang back, she anticipated demands before we had a chance to make them. She educated us without condescension. Recently, after many years of living in the Berkeley hills, we began to yearn for a walkable neighborhood; again we turned to Arlene. This time, we were harder to please, being limited by a tight budget and high-end desires...Arlene remained patient and calm, showing us a wide range of things that might work, listening to our worries and buoying us up when we felt despair. The end result: we just bought what I think will be our "forever house"--exactly where we dreamed of living for so long. She puts the needs of her clients first, sacrificing personal time without complaint, taking calls during moments when others might choose to "call back later." Her meticulous care and experience, her understanding of how to guide her clients and represent them in the crucial moment of the bid, I am sure are responsible for our good fortune now. 5 Stars!
Absolutely fantastic result!! Thank you Arlene!!
I have worked with many realtors over my lifetime, few have met my expectations.
Arlene exceeded them. The house was originally estimated in the mid 200's, we did work which Arlene suggested and ended up getting 20+ offers and sold in the 500's.
Way to go!!!
I really don't know why you would use anyone else.
David Hollander, Esq., Oakland
Arlene was a dream to work with, and I couldn't imagine having had a better realtor. From the beginning, I felt fully informed about the market, the steps, and what to look for and look out for, including all of the little things that are so important but that wouldn't have even crossed my mind at the time. I also felt like I had an ally, someone who took the time to learn about me and what I need and want, and in this incredibly competitive housing market, she was both realistic and encouraging.
I was on a very short and tight timeline, and Arlene helped me navigate the process seamlessly. She showed me properties that included what is now my new home that I absolutely love and feel lucky to be in. She was masterful at knowing what to look for and what to ask, and she was impressively accessible throughout the processes of making an offer and closing the sale. And almost all of this was done remotely, because I was either out of state or out of the country most of the time, which was possible because she also helped me to anticipate what needed to be done beforehand, and what could be done while abroad.
Her support did not end with the closing. She took the time to show me all sorts of things about the property when it was time for me to move in, and provided advice on settling in, referrals for services, suggestions of fabulous places locally to check out, and so on. She has been and continues to be a great guide and advisor and advocate, and I'm deeply grateful. If you're looking for a home in the East Bay, be sure to contact her. Thanks, Arlene!
My husband and I recently purchased our first home and we were lucky enough to have Arlene as our real estate agent. I don't think we would have gotten our house if it weren't for Arlene and her diligent hard work. From the very beginning, Arlene was there for us, explaining the entire process so we would know what to expect every step of the way. She is very knowledgeable about the market, the condition of different homes, and what it would take to update them. She gave us invaluable advice on pricing and what to expect during the bidding process. Arlene was always available, day or night, for anything we needed. When a house suddenly became available, Arlene was on the phone with us and we were viewing the property 30 minutes later. When we finally purchased a home, Arlene did something I didn't think was possible: she was able to convince the seller to put in a new fence around the entire back yard before we took ownership of the property. When we realized the fence was not being installed correctly, she was on the phone with the seller to make it right. We now have an amazing new fence that is exactly what we asked for. If you are looking for a realtor who listens, encourages, and helps you through the process of buying a home, I would highly recommend Arlene Baxter.
Arlene Baxter is an amazingly savvy, wise, experienced and compassionate real estate agent that has helped me in both the buying and selling of several houses over the last 10 years. She manages to make an exremely complex transaction seem simple.
In 2002 Arlene was my proxy in probate court and successfully bid on a property for me while I was out of the country!
More recently, Arlene assisted me in the sale of a beautiful Victorian that I had lovingly restored that was located in a neighborhood that was relatively depressed in terms of real estate prices. She understood the vagrancies of the market and priced the house well above the neighborhood median trusting that the right person would see the value of the house. And so indeed, with 70K over asking.
I cannot recommend Arlene Baxter more highly for any of your real estate needs.
The five star rating that is translated by Yelp as "Woohoo! As good as it gets!" says it all.
Arlene you are the best! I am so lucky to have been working with you for the last few years on the duplex. I found the FINEST person in Berkeley to handle all the problems, contractors, and everything else that went with preparing a run-down building for resale in Berkeley! Thank you for all the special care and attention you gave, that resulted in such an above listed price for the building. All the details that made the final beautiful looks of the duplex, you foresaw and expressed with such a flair. Thank you always for all you did.
We found Arlene to be very knowledgeable and experienced in a competitive market. She is persistent, efficient and detail-oriented, which made our experience a satisfying one. She is a clear communicator and it was a pleasure to work with her. We would enthusiastically recommend Arlene Baxter to anyone who is considering purchasing a home.
Entering retirement, we are first time home buyers, so there was definitely a learning curve. Arlene did a fantastic job of educating us (including patient repetitions when we didn't "get it" the first time). She was amazingly quick at scheduling inspections and getting bids, which effectively helped us to assess and plan our budget for the next year. She negotiated a reduction in the cost of the house, very much appreciated! Her annotated list of referrals is tremendously helpful. And Arlene's many personal touches to boost our confidence and celebrate our new home has made the process less stressful, more joyful. We lucked out with Arlene!
Arlene Baxter is amazing! She is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and experienced in the world of real estate. She patiently guided me on the purchase my first home, answering all of the questions that I had, and very supportively taking me step by step through all aspects of the process.
Arlene went the extra mile assisting me in selecting, viewing, and purchasing the property, and has she also been helpful with referrals since I moved into my new home. I am really so grateful to have met Arlene Baxter, and I highly recommend her as an outstanding real estate professional
Our experience with Arlene was a pleasure and an education in what a good realtor can and should do for clients: engage with them enough to get beyond the superficial in understanding what they want and need; save them time and effort; keep them abreast of rapidly-changing market conditions; strategize on offers, financing, timing, comps, and other issues; help to interpret for them what they are seeking, and generally provide good counsel as they make their way. At all junctures, Arlene was cheerful, calm, knowledgeable, witty, and seemed always to have plenty of time to talk with us.
We were very happy with the work that Arlene Baxter did for us when she was the agent selling our Berkeley property. We each made some notes of what we particularly appreciated about working with her. Our words were remarkably similar: insight, integrity, wisdom, good process management, artistic presentation of property, and excellent crisis management. . . Finally, Arlene was fun to work with; we would certainly ask for her help again if we were contemplating another real estate transaction.
She stayed on top of everything, inspiring comfort and confidence. She minimized the impact on us of all the details and changing scenarios while keeping us appropriately informed. She was fun to work with on the “staging” of our house. Her fine eye for interior design and detail resulted in our house being seen at its best by prospective buyers. Please consider this our unqualified recommendation of Arlene for her skills and talents as a real estate agent. It was our pleasure to work with her.”
Arlene Baxter has been my go-to-realtor for the last ten years. She's helped me sell our home of 30 years. And, later helped me buy a local condo, which I love.
Arlene is steeped in the history of the East Bay market and its fluctuations, as well as community resources. Her skill, serenity, and good humor during the hectic days of preparing our home for sale freed me to take time letting go of the memories in each room, the furniture too large to take, and mountains of "treasures." When I felt overwhelmed she steered me to people who helped with sorting and packing and donating. She even located someone strong and brave enough to wrestle large boxes and furniture down the ladder from our attic. In the end my home sold above the asking price. And when it came time to buy the condo, Arlene's extraordinary advocacy convinced the seller to accept my bid, which was lower than the highest offer!
I cannot imagine a better guide and companion to have in the realm of real estate than Arlene. She knows her stuff, she works hard, she does not quit, and she's always available. She actually makes the work fun.
You are so different from the other real estate agents we worked with before meeting you.… Arlene, you are our realtor for life and we hope to continue deepening our friendship with you over the years. Thank you so very much.
Arlene is in the process of helping us purchase our very first home. She is an extraordinary realtor--savvy, sophisticated, meticulous, determined, and full of fun. We are amazed at her stamina to sustain hours of work, to keep in touch at every moment, to give us sound advice but never try to impose, and to keep our priorities at heart. There is also a maternal side of her, seasoned by her years of experience, that makes her stand out as one who cares more than the usual realtor. During our encounter of various homes, we could see how much she care about our own financial planning in the long run, our quality of life, and our particular preferences, much more than we ourselves could.
Thank you, Arlene, for being so patient and open-minded with us and for walking us through the challenging process and teaching us every step of pursuing, building, and owning our very first home.
We were nervous because we were buying our first house just as we were retiring. She held our hands through the whole process. She found us a house we could afford. She connected us with a mortgage broker. She made sure we knew the pluses and minuses of the building. She even sat us down a day or so before we committed and told us all the problems we might face. At the same time she was encouraging and a fine advocate for us. In the end she got us a discount, even in the insane market of 2015.
We got email from her late at night and early in the morning. I wonder if she ever sleeps? But all that energy was spent to get us a good place, and we are grateful.