I have worked at Red Oak for 12 years and as a clinical psychologist for 30 plus years. Before becoming a Realtor I invested in homes and multi-family units. I so much enjoyed the combination of property and the people who own it – their stories, their lives – that I decided to combine my interests and work in real estate. It has been a very rewarding choice.
I see my job as a counselor and educator. Our micro-markets in the East Bay are so unique that my first task with buyers is to educate them so that when they make decisions, they are educated ones. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to match the “right buyer” with the “right property” and take them through the process of purchasing a home.
With sellers, the preparation, pricing, marketing and disclosures are all factors I pay a lot of attention to in making sure I achieve the best return possible. My philosophy is to put my clients’ needs first, to treat everyone in the transaction with honesty, respect and empathy, and to make sure that my clients have as much education and knowledge as I can provide. In short, I treat people as I would want to be treated if I were buying or selling property.
In my free time my favorite thing to do, besides being with my kids and their kids, is to work with recycled materials and transform them into art. My philosophy is that we too easily discard the remnants of industrialized society rather than transforming them in objects which are quirky, funny, beautiful, useful. I have learned to weld, and to that end have a garage full of junk that I long to combine in new and interesting ways.
When my husband and 1 decided to move to the Berkeley area 4 years ago, we had no idea where to live. So we decided to rent for a year to get to know the many neighborhoods in the area. I contacted Jeanne, an old friend and Realtor and asked her to check out a house we had seen on CraigsList. She did the same afternoon, called us back immediately to discuss the house and we eventually rented it for a year.
In that year, we started looking at houses to buy. The market was very different from the East coast: open houses on two consecutive Sundays, multiple bids almost always going over the listing price and offers that required hours of work on behalf of the realtor, and almost no opportunity to counter offer to the seller.
Here is where Jeanne's expertise and knowledge come into play. First, she really knows her business. She would come to see houses that interested us and we would discuss the advantages and disadvantages in considering a particular home for purchase. She made it very clear from the very beginning that we had to very seriously evaluate our financial position because any house that was really decent would DEFINITELY have multiple bids and bids that would go over the asking price, often times by the thousands. It was a grueling experience from the start, we bid on houses that didn't come close to an accepted bid, but Jeanne never gave up and kept a very positive attitude which helped us enormously.
We eventually found the house we are presently living in. Jeanne guided us in deciding how much over the asking price we should bid and once accepted, we got into "contract." Being in contract can present a myriad of problems depending on the seller, the state of the house, what codes aren't met, etc. Given Jeanne's amazing ability to negotiate with another Realtor, she was able to get back a significant amount of money for us at the closing which affected her commission, but she didn't care. She reads every single word of a contract between the buyer and seller and if something doesn't sit well, she takes note and brings it back to the seller's Realtor for discussion. She is also willing to compromise when needed. She constantly looks out for her clients.
If were looking for a realtor in the East bay, I wouJd have no apprehensions about using Jeanne. She's honest, hard working, very, very smart, and really knows what she is doing. To this day, we have remained very good friends and continue to talk about the housing market! And no, I'm not selling my house just yet, but when I do, I will list it with Jeanne.
I have just bought a home in EI Cerrito, which I am thrilled with, and I wish to highly recommend the real estate agent with whom I worked. Her name is Jeanne Lengsfelder and she works out of the Red Oak office on Solano Ave.
We don't always have the good fortune to deal with people who are so considerate of our needs, so knowledgeable and ethical, and in the real estate business this can be a rare quality, indeed. Jeanne was ALWAYS thinking of me and thoughtful of my situation. My needs took precedence over her own wish to sell me a home, and she was very careful and extremely knowledgeable in her financial advice to me, as well as educating me about matters to be aware of, such as fault and slide zones, retrofit structuring, dry rot repair, etc. Her advice was invaluable and helped me so much in making my decision. She knows her market intimately and will work tirelessly on your behalf.
In addition to counseling me in profoundly important ways, she was also a fantastic negotiator, and a fair one. She wanted to get me the best deal, but one that would be realistic and workable with the owner. There were, as always, difficult moments in the negotiations, but she handled them expertly.
I cannot praise her enough, and I strongly recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell a home, as you can be sure you will be working with a person who is very bright, knowledgeable, extremely ethical, always looking out for your best interests, and easy and fun to work with.