We had concerns about the business – if you don't have a good relationship with your agent, you feel like you could be taken advantage of.
The real estate market was quite different when Mike and Kelly bought their first home together in 2003. Most homes for sale in the East Bay were getting multiple offers, and buyers had to bid on about 10 different homes before a seller accepted.
But Mike and Kelly managed not only to get the first house they made an offer on, but they also got it without having the highest bid. They credit their success as buyers in a hot seller's market to the expertise of their agent Grace Bishop.
"Grace had a clear idea of what we wanted," said Kelly.
She listened to them, visited their rental home, which they loved, and took the time to fully understand what they were looking for.
"We weren't the highest bidders, but she helped us craft our message to get the house," said Mike.
At the time, the couple was renting a house about six blocks away from the one they ended up buying. Grace thought that writing a letter and structuring the offer with as few conditions as possible would be key to getting the house. And she was right.
"She always asked the right questions," said Kelly.
Now that they've grown with the house a bit, the couple is currently looking to buy a new home in the same neighborhood. They're not in a rush and are particular about what they want, so it may take awhile, but Grace has been patient with them, they said.
"It has been and will continue to be a slow process, which speaks to her patience," said Kelly.