It's very difficult to actually find a house that you like. Looking at each house you can see something you like and something you don't like. Everybody has a doubt.
Liliana and Radoslav were searching for their dream retirement home in the East Bay. The couple – originally from Yugoslavia – had attended grad school at UC Berkeley and their daughter Neda currently lives in Oakland.
After spending many harsh winters in Minnesota, they were excited at the thought of moving back to the mild Bay Area weather. They were still living and working in Minnesota when they started looking at homes. In fact, Radoslav was only visiting on a business trip when Neda introduced him to Linda Elkin, the agent who helped her buy her Oakland condo.
"It was kind of in a rush, but Linda found time to show us a few properties," said Radoslav.
Finding the perfect house – especially on short visits where time was of essence – ended up being the most difficult part.
"It was difficult for Linda to read us. Our daughter was telling her what we like and what we don't like, and it was sometimes the opposite of what she'd expect us to say," said Liliana.
The house they bought near Piedmont Avenue, was nothing like the first one they intended to purchase in El Cerrito. Ultimately, the couple realized they valued an urban setting over a suburban one. Radoslav wanted to be able to walk down the street and buy coffee and fresh bread. They both wanted a diverse neighborhood.
"We never met an agent like Linda," said Radoslav. "She really tries hard, asks the right questions and senses, too, what the client is thinking and feeling," he said.
While her clients were several states away during the closing, Linda handled everything from inspections to walkthroughs to paperwork. On top of dealing with the transaction, the house was under construction when they made the offer. Linda was key in making sure the owner met his obligations on items he promised would be complete in time for closing.
"She took over and did everything!" said Radoslav. "It was a lot of work from her and all done over phone, e-mail, and DocuSign."
Today, the couple is still working and living in Minnesota. But soon, they'll be able to retire to the place they dreamed of and spend more time with their daughter, who lives just up the street.